SE Webinar: Peer-to-Peer Consultancy: Designing Peer Reviews and Subgrant Competitions
Facilitator: Alex Medler,Senior Director, National Charter Schools Resource Center
- Eric Doss, Oklahoma Public School Resource Center
Description: This interactive "consultancy" webinar is part of the National Charter Schools Resource Center (NCSRC) technical assistance for administrators of SE grants from the federal Charter Schools Program. This webinar was facilitated by Alex Medler from the NCSRC. Eric Doss, from the Oklahoma Public School Resource Center (OPSRC), and colleagues in other states with new SE grants, shared their challenges in designing and conducting a peer-review process as part of a strong subgrant competition.
Oklahoma Context: There are 29 charter schools in Oklahoma that serve 29,000 students. A majority of those students (17,000), are in virtual charter schools that serve a statewide population and are authorized by the State Virtual Charter School Board. Brick and Mortar charter schools can be authorized by any district in the state, Universities, Career Tech Centers, Native American Tribes, or the State Board of Education on appeal.
Challenge: The Oklahoma Public School Resource Center is responsible for administering the USDOE CSP for charter schools in Oklahoma. These funds are to be used to support new, expanding, or replicating charter schools across the state. Virtual schools are restricted from applying. OPSRC has had some challenges finding reviewers in the state that have experience in charter school operations but are not in some way connected to any of the schools. For instance, one of the most knowledgeable people is a consultant, but is working with two of the schools. OPSRC has also reached out to school leaders, and many are reluctant to take on the work because OPSRC has not been able to give them much idea of the time needed.
- OPSRC has a rubric that was developed with the RFA. What other types of training or support materials would be helpful for our reviewers, again understanding their time constraints?
- OPSRC did not include an honorarium in the original budget. How much do states generally offer reviewers?
- How much does OPSRC need to be reviewing their work, and how much support can OPSRC give if one of the reviewers needs help?
In this interactive webinar, participants responded to the challenge, probed and asked clarifying questions, and offered their own insights and reflections based on experiences from their states. This recording is intended to be a resource for others that establish new CSP programs in the future and face similar challenges.