School Performance and Accountability
All schools under the Office of Innovation and Incubation (I & I) enter into an Agreement and Accountability Plan with the Chicago Board of Education, which defines the standards and expectations for school academic, financial and operational performance. These are the standards by which the school will be held accountable through the term of its agreement with the Chicago Board of Education, and the standards by which renewal and non-renewal decisions are made. The Accountability Plan is implemented through an annual review process that takes place during the term of the agreement, as well as a renewal review process during the final year of the agreement. Each I & I school has the responsibility to understand, fulfill, and track progress toward meeting the requirements of its Agreement.
All schools within CPS, including district-operated, charter and contract schools, are held to a common accountability framework known as the School Quality Rating Policy (SQRP). SQRP is a systematic means for measuring a school’s performance and identifying schools in need of support and increased oversight due to insufficient levels of achievement and/or growth based on a series of weighted indicators.
SQRP is the primary indicator of each CPS school’s academic performance. For charter schools specifically, the Charter School Quality Policy (CSQP) is a consistent and transparent policy that utilizes the SQRP in the decision-making of the Chicago Board of Education. Once a charter school or campus receives an SQRP rating, the CSQP is used to determine if the school or campus is meeting the minimum academic performance standards necessary for operation. Charter schools and campuses that meet the performance standards of the policy may be approved to expand and replicate their existing school programs through the new school request for proposals and annual application for amendment processes. In contrast, charter schools and campuses that do not meet the performance standards identified in the CSQP are placed in revocation status and may be subject to closure.
All charter and contract schools are evaluated annually on a series of indicators related to short- and long-term financial health and financial management practices, such as change in net assets, liquidity, and annual audit outcomes. The Accountability Plan identifies two Financial Performance Categories: Financial Condition and Financial Controls. Schools receive a rating of “Exceeds”, “Meets”, or “Does Not Meet” the standard for each indicator, which is publicized in an annual Financial and Compliance Scorecard.
All charter and contract schools are evaluated annually on their legal compliance with applicable local, state and federal laws, and on their timely submission of key compliance documentation. The Accountability Plan identifies two Operational Performance Categories: Legal Compliance and Reporting. I & I monitors school compliance in key operational areas such as health and safety, non-discrimination, and staffing through desk review and the annual independent audit process. In addition, schools are required to submit compliance documentation throughout the year in accordance with due dates specified in an annual compliance calendar. Schools receive a rating of “Exceeds”, “Meets”, or “Does Not Meet” in each of the operational performance indicators, which is publicized in an annual Financial and Compliance Scorecard.
Key Documents and Links
I & I schools should submit all compliance requirements through the Epicenter portal. Please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about compliance procedures or deadlines.
For charter, contract, and options school information and ratings, please search by entering the school name. The “Downloads” tab on each school page includes links to academic, financial, building and other reports.
When a charter or contract school reaches the end of its contract term (typically year 5 of operation) and is seeking renewal, it undergoes a comprehensive renewal process, during which time the Office of Innovation and Incubation evaluates its performance against its School Agreement and Accountability Plan.
The renewal process serves two purposes. First, it informs the Chicago Board of Education’s decision on whether the school has satisfied the academic, financial and operational performance requirements established in its agreement with the Board. Second, this reflective process provides schools with the opportunity to evaluate their effectiveness in fulfilling past goals.
The CEO may recommend non-renewal of a charter school to the Chicago Board of Education if the school fails to meet the minimum academic performance criteria in the Charter School Quality Policy and/or certain financial and compliance expectations. Certain deficiencies may also result in a shortened renewal term.
If you have any questions on the renewal process, please email email@example.com.