GVSU CSO announces changes to charter contract
February 27, 2018
After months of vetting and taking into consideration stakeholder input, Grand Valley State University is revising the Educational Goals in the charter contract (Schedule 7-1) to better align expectations with the current assessment environment in Michigan. The University is also making several revisions to the Terms and Conditions section of the charter contract. School boards recently received a memorandum from Dr. Kimball, the associate vice president for charter schools, outlining all revisions in both sections. All GVSU-chartered school boards are expected to adopt these revisions by June 30, 2018.
Revisions to Educational Goals
The revised Educational Goals establish a goal of meeting or exceeding the percentage of students who are either proficient in all tested subjects or identified as college-ready on the M-STEP compared to the percentage of students in select peer schools. They also state that the academy's mean student growth percentile rank in English language arts and math will meet or exceed that of select peer schools. Put simply, students in GVSU-chartered schools should perform as well or better than their peers when compared using M-STEP performance and achievement metrics.
The Educational Goals revisions were made for four, key reasons. First, they will allow all who are responsible for overseeing and supporting schools to use the same set of state assessment data. This means GVSU, the Michigan Department of Education, charter school boards, and others are all on the same page when discussing a school’s performance on the M-STEP assessment. Second, the revisions will simultaneously clarify and simplify the goals. With fewer and more common measures to pay attention to, school leaders will be better focused on what they are expected to achieve. Third, the revisions encourage enhanced levels of data-driven peer comparison. Schools will be compared to statistically similar schools to better determine the value each is adding to the students and community it serves. Finally, the revisions will help school boards maintain high levels of governance. The easier-to-understand goals give board members a clear vision of what they need to achieve to make progress, allowing them to focus what is most important for the school.
Through these revisions, GVSU-chartered schools will all now have a distinct framework for determining how well they are performing. Schools will also be empowered to conduct their own performance analysis as frequently as needed, as the data used for measurement will be available through Eidex, the school comparison tool we highlighted last month.
Revisions to Terms and Conditions
The revisions to the Terms and Conditions section of the charter contract were made in order to keep documents compliant with the changes made to state law through Executive Order 2017-05. Some of the Terms and Conditions revisions require updates to the contract language to align with the state's terminology and expectations. Other revisions restructure the rights and responsibilities of the University and the academy as related to specific actions associated with compliance and governance. These revisions touch on actions related to school budgets, school transparency requirements, contract termination, and emergency action. All revisions will provide greater clarity to sections previously amended and aligns the contract with best practices. You can click here to see the full list of Terms and Conditions revisions.
School leaders will receive more information about the revisions during the Principals’ Meetings on March 6-7, 2018, and school consultants from the GVSU Charter Schools Office will be assisting school boards as they work toward the adoption deadline.