Dear County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators:
Updates on Data for Charter School Appeals and Renewals
Assembly Bill 1505 (Chapter 486, Statutes of 2019) changed the process for charter school appeals and renewals. Since the initial implementation of AB 1505 in 2020, provisions related to the determination of performance categories for charter schools have been on hold due to the global COVID-19 pandemic crises. Specifically, the U.S. Department of Education and California State Legislature waived the requirements to report state indicators on the California School Dashboard (Dashboard) in 2020 and 2021 that would have been used in the charter school renewal process. This letter provides information on the upcoming release of the 2022 Dashboard and resources for charter school authorizers and administrators.
Data Requirements Under AB 1505
Charter schools that are up for renewal, who are not identified as Dashboard Alternative Schools Status (DASS), are evaluated on student outcomes over the prior two years. To evaluate their performance, the following data are to be used:
- Overall schoolwide performance
- Academic achievement of student groups
- State and local indicator data, along with other data
Based on the data, non-DASS charter schools are placed into one of three categories. Note: DASS charter schools have their own renewal criteria and are not eligible to be placed in a performance category. The three performance categories are as follows:
- High Performing – Presumptive renewal if the charter school meets the established renewal criteria—California Education Code (EC) Section 47607(c)(2).
- Low Performing – Presumptive non-renewal if the charter school meets the non-renewal criteria. However, the law allows for a second review opportunity—EC Section 47607.2(a).
- Middle Performing – These schools will be evaluated using additional data—EC sections 47607(c)(5) and 47607.2(b).
Other Data Sources
In the absence of statewide data, charter authorizers must consider clear and convincing evidence of measurable increases in academic achievement and/or strong post-secondary outcomes, demonstrated through verified data, when evaluating a petition for renewal. For all renewals under these criteria:
- Greater weight is on academic performance.
- Renewal shall be for a five-year term, if renewed.
- Use of verified data and postsecondary outcomes, which sunset on January 1, 2026.
An example of available local assessment data was collected by the Region 15 Comprehensive Center at WestEd, at the request of the California State Board of Education and California Department of Education (CDE), from three selected testing publishers who supported the administration of spring 2021 local assessments. This one-time resource, in addition to the state-level data provided by the CDE, may help to provide a fuller picture of student performance in California from spring 2021. To view this resource, visit Spring 2021 Performance on Three Locally Determined Assessments in California .
2022 California School Dashboard
Due to requirements under AB 130, the CDE can only display the most current year of data (also known as Status) on the 2022 Dashboard. Therefore, compared to prior Dashboards, the use of colors, or performance levels, using two years of data will not be reported. The 2022 Dashboard will use one of five Status levels (ranging from Very High, High, Medium, Low, and Very Low) for all state indicators based on the 2021–22 school year data.
The state indicators include the following:
- Chronic Absenteeism: kindergarten (K) through grade eight
- Suspension Rate: K through grade twelve
- English Learner Progress: grades one through twelve
- Graduation Rate: high school only
- College/Career: high school only (Note: The College/Career Indicator will not be reported on the 2022 Dashboard)
- Academic: grades three through eight and grade eleven – English language arts/literacy and Mathematics
The CDE anticipates that the determination of performance categories as specified in AB 1505 can restart based on the 2023 Dashboard. For the restart of the production of performance categories, the CDE anticipates this to occur in early 2024. It is important to note that the production of the Dashboard is based on data submitted by local educational agencies, which includes charter schools. Since this annual data collection through California’s student-level data system, the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System, is open through the end of August, the Dashboard is typically produced by the end of the calendar year. Accordingly, the earliest the release of the performance categories can occur is in January/February following the release of the Dashboard.
Additional concerns and questions on charter renewal should be addressed with legal counsel.
The CDE has various resources on its website to assist with the implications and implementation of recent legislation impacting California charter schools, charter authorizers, and interest holders. For additional information on charter school performance categories, charter school renewal terms, frequently asked questions, and related materials (including this letter), please visit Legislation Impacting Charters. For information regarding the Dashboard, please visit California School Dashboard and System of Support.
For questions regarding charter school renewals, please contact the Charter Schools Division by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions regarding the Dashboard, please contact the Analysis, Measurement, and Accountability Reporting Division by email at email@example.com.
Cindy Kazanis, Director
Analysis, Measurement, and Accountability Reporting Division
Stephanie Farland, Director
Charter Schools Division