27 Baltimore Schools to be evaluated.October 17, 2012
Baltimore City Public Schools is embarking on a crucial process, a high stakes review for 27 of its schools with operating contracts. Using its “portfolio” approach, City Schools must approve contracts with its charter schools and other schools that are overseen by operating partners. The goal is to give such schools increased autonomy in day-to-day operations while setting clear standards for accountability. As part of that accountability, City Schools must evaluate each school’s progress and let the public know how the school is doing.
Why are so many schools under review?
In the last few years, City Schools has lacked a good process for this kind of school review. This spring, SPSOC funded a project to bring in an experienced consultant that facilitated a working group made up of City Schools staff and school leaders. The work group developed a renewal process in which evaluations are based on both quantitative data and qualitative input gleaned from school visits and surveys. Through evaluation of academic programming and management, this new renewal process promises to yield a rigorous and comprehensive review.
Without a suitable review process in recent years, City Schools simply extended some school contracts rather than doing a rigorous analysis of their performance. This led to a backlog of renewals that needed to be done. With the new renewal process in place, City Schools is able to undertake a large number of evaluations this year.
The renewal process will begin with evaluations and recommendations from City Schools’ New and Charter School Advisory Board, which is made up of City Schools staff and representatives from the teachers union, parents, the school board, community groups, and local government. I serve on this group. We will work together to review applications, data, and site visit reports and develop recommendations for City Schools CEO Dr. Andres A. Alonso.
Decisions about renewing a school’s contract fall eventually to the Board of School Commissioners, based on recommendations from Dr. Alonso. The goal is to have all renewals voted on by the school board by next February.
These schools’ contracts are up for renewal:
Charter Schools (18)
Afya Public Charter School
Baltimore Freedom Academy
KIPP Ujima Village Academy
Northwood Appold Community Academy
Patterson Park Public Charter School
ConneXions Leadership Academy
The Crossroads School
Baltimore Montessori Public Charter School
City Neighbors Charter School
Hampstead Hill Academy
Baltimore International Academy
City Springs School
Maryland Academy of Technology and Health Sciences
Collington Square School
Bluford Drew Jemison STEM Academy
Transformation Schools (5)
Friendship Academy of Science and Technology
Friendship Academy of Engineering and Technology
The REACH Partnership School
Other contract/partner schools (4)
New Song Academy
Baltimore Talent Development High School
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