Board to Re-envision Charter Application and Grade Expansion Rubric and Evaluation Process
We released our Strategic Roadmap, which will guide our oversight work in the coming years. One of the strategic priorities identified in the plan is to “conduct annual needs assessments to identify gaps to inform new school and expansion planning and shift the charter application process to align with citywide need.”
Further, DC PCSB also intends to engage families and other community stakeholders more intentionally in this planning work. With these priorities in mind, the DC PCSB staff and Board will be re-envisioning the charter application and grade expansion rubric and evaluation process. The need to adjust our existing process is further compounded by the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency as well as the significant changes planned for DC PCSB’s accountability framework. The shifts in our process will aim to improve the quality of applications reviewed and approved by the DC PCSB Board to ensure strong, in-demand options are made available to DC families.
During the next year, DC PCSB staff will take several critical steps to improve the review and evaluation of applications for new or expanding charter schools. They include:
- Ensuring expectations for new and expanding schools are aligned with measures of quality included in the revised accountability framework, also being developed as part of DC PCSB’s Strategic Roadmap.
- Engage with community stakeholders, especially families, to understand the program types that are in demand and incorporate that feedback into the review process.
- Assess the enrollment landscape in a post-COVID environment and coordinate with city partners to ensure new schools are successful and students can thrive.
The modified application cycle will be launched in 2023. In service of this goal, DC PCSB will not be accepting applications for new local education agencies (LEAs) or grade expansion requests during the remainder of 2021 or during 2022. DC PCSB will use this time to assess our current process and make updates in alignment with our Strategic Roadmap and the School Reform Act. DC PCSB will release revised charter application guidelines in Summer 2022 and looks forward to reviewing strong, innovative charter applications in 2023.