How can a charter authorizer encourage innovation while also holding applicants and schools to high standards of quality? The Indiana Charter School Board first tried to do this in spring, and it’s giving applicants another chance today, as it releases its guidelines for the fall cycle of proposals. The board wants applicants to consider proposing dramatically different school models.
Letters of intent are due July 12, with full applications due August 9.
As in the spring cycle, the request for applications, developed with support from Public Impact, suggests that applicants consider dramatically different school designs, including those that use “staff roles, technology, compensation structures, and/or other aspects of school design and/or implementation to enable the school to reach more students with excellent teaching” in a financially sustainable way.
To explain what it means by innovative designs, the board provided applicants with specific key elements and examples on its website. Additionally, Public Impact’s Joe Ableidinger and Grace Han conducted a webinar spotlighting the list of innovation resources available to applicants, which includes Public Impact’s Opportunity Culture website and its models of innovative teacher staffing and compensation.
Applicants must still meet all the board’s usual quality standards to gain approval, but the ICSB also developed a specialized rubric to evaluate the quality of the applications’ innovative components and their likelihood of success.
For more, see our previous post on the ICSB’s efforts.