About the AEC Data
One of the primary purposes of the A-GAME project is to help authorizers, and the alternative education campuses (AECs) they oversee, to develop alternative accountability measures, metrics, and frameworks to capture school quality. One area of shared difficulty among authorizers and AECs is establishing rigorous but attainable performance targets. This site aims to provide authorizers with some “typical” results for students attending AECs. The data provided here are collected from state department of educational websites, as well as the National Center for Education Statistics website. For the first time, AECs are isolated from general education schools and their results are aggregated to provide a summary of typical (or average) alternative school performance. The results can be used to help charter authorizers and AECs set relevant performance standards for their alternative schools across the country.
The data reported on this site will be updated and additional measures will be released on a regular basis. In addition, we anticipate adding new features for reviewing the data based on different student or school characteristics in the near future.
National School Performance Data
When creating goals, it is important to use the best available data. Using national data can give a broader perspective that will help create targets that are right for you.
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Responsive Goals Directory
Are you searching for responsive goals for student populations, national situtations, or changes in data availability? A-GAME will help you get back on your “A-GAME”.
Over the 2020-2021 school year A-GAME worked with 10 charter school authorizers and their alternative education campuses (AECs) to create over 100 unique responsive goals. We have summarized those goals into a database that you can now access. Download the latest A-GAME resource, “Responsive Goals Directory,” and see the different ways leaders have measured success among their AECs, as well as the unique ways AEC support their students.
College and Career Readiness Flow Chart
The Los Angeles County Offce of Education (LACOE), in collaboration with two of the county’s authorized alternative charter schools, DaVinci RISE and the North Valley Military Institute, used the A-GAME process to add more college and career-ready opportunities than are currently recognized by the state in its college and career readiness measure. Using A-GAME facilitated discussions, LACOE learned of and appreciated the many diverse college and career-readiness opportunities that the schools provide. Though some of the pathways illustrated in the flow-chart are still under development, we believe that authorizers and alternative schools, alike, can benefit from the thinking expanded of the group about which pathways prepare students for a successful future. Pathways flowing through multiple shapes in the diagram indicate that a student needs to complete each item along the pathway to be considered college or career ready.
Workforce Readiness Evaluation Rubric
This tool was developed by New Legacy Charter School in collaboration with the Colorado Charter Schools Institute and A-GAME and can be used as a student self-evaluation, advisor observation, and a worksite evaluation tool. As a workforce readiness evaluation tool, the rubric can evaluate how students feel about their preparedness for the workforce, as well as how teachers/advisors of workforce preparation courses determine whether students are prepared to enter a work experience opportunity (e.g., job shadow, internship, apprenticeship, or work for credit opportunities). In addition, mentors and students’ supervisors in the students’ workforce experiences can use this tool to evaluate students’ performance in each area as it pertains to the specific career opportunity.
Better Goals. More Learning. Using Student (re)Engagement Levels to Create Meaningful Goals and Measures
A-GAME originally set out focusing exclusively on measuring the quality of alternative education campuses (or AECs). Members joined as they were frustrated by accountability systems that rely on traditional measures, because they don’t tell the whole story. Schools serving large numbers of disengaged and barely-engaged students typically receive low marks on state and authorizer performance frameworks -- even if they produce positive results for students documented through other measures.
This document is designed to show how to avoid this problem and measure what really matters for all schools!
Introducing the A-GAME: New Ways of Measuring Quality
With traditional assessments unavailable, authorizers and schools are looking for new ways to measure quality. Join a session to learn about the Advancing Great Authorizing and Modeling Excellence (A-GAME) initiative on creating responsive goals based on student population. Focusing on alternative education campuses, 50 authorizers collaborated over the past year to develop a method for creating new measurements based not on averages but on population.
Minding the Gap: How State Policies Can Create Conditions for Innovation in Alternative Education Accountability
Minding the Gap is a resource to help state education agencies, charter school authorizers, leaders of alternative education campuses, policy-makers, and researchers understand how states are balancing the demand for rigorous public accountability with the diversity of alternative education campuses (AECs) and the real-life experiences of students they serve.
Measuring Quality: A Resource Guide for Authorizers and Alternative Schools
For charter school authorizers, alternative education campuses can be a challenge, as students tend to be highly mobile, are chronically absent, and are often years behind in academic learning. Therefore, data is scarce and not reflective of all students enrolled by the AEC throughout the year. This document provides concrete recommendations and specific examples of ways to measure outcomes for AEC charter schools.
Evaluating a New AEC Applicant
This rubric provides examples of how authorizers can rate applications to open an alternative charter school and is consistent with the guidance and recommendations put forth in the A-GAME’s Measuring Quality: A Resource Guide for Authorizers and Alternative Schools.
Assessing an AEC for Renewal
This rubric provides an example of how authorizers can assess an application to renew an alternative charter, and is consistent with the guidance and recommendations put forth in the A-GAME’s Measuring Quality: A Resource Guide for Authorizers and Alternative Schools.
Measuring Quality: Walkthrough Guide
This powerpoint is a complement to the Measuring Quality Guide already available. The deck walks participants through the main ideas within the Guide.
A-GAME: Case Study Exercise
This is a case study in which participants are asked to rethink accountability beyond comparing to averages and using proficiency rates on state assessments. The powerpoint is the first part of a series that will eventually lead through the charter life cycle of application and goal creation through renewal.
Renewing Schools using Engagement Phases and Non-Traditional Goals, Part 1
With COVID-19 causing a hiatus in state assessments, over 45 charter school authorizers joined together to explore reliable ways to measure school quality that do not rely on state assessments. The powerpoint, used in the second convening of A-GAME authorizers, takes a charter school authorizer through the process of assessing a school based on students identified by their engagement in school.
Renewing Schools using Engagement Phases and Non-Traditional Goals, Part 2
This resource offers examples of goals for growth, culture/climate, high-school completion, and career and college readiness.
Social Emotional Learning and Responsive Goals
At the final Spring 2020 A GAME convening, charter authorizers explored the process for researching for the best SEL assessments. Included also are three examples of authorizers using A-GAME-inspired goals in their authorizing practices.
SEAtS Webinar: Strengthening a non-traditional approach to student success
December 1, 2020 | Presented by Jody Ernst (Momentum Strategy & Research), Kennisha Kelly (Kingsman Academy), and Naomi Rubin DeVeaux (National Charter Schools Institute)
Letter to the Honorable Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, Chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor at the U.S. House of Representatives
Written by the A-GAME team
Analysis: Seeking new ways to evaluate charter schools serving the highest needs students that might work for others shuttered by COVID-19
By Nelson Smith
"With the coronavirus pandemic bringing the school year to a sudden halt before spring tests and high school graduations, school administrators and state policymakers are struggling with how to evaluate schools when there are big gaps in data."
So-called “alternative” accountability is turning out to be really pertinent at a time when states and school districts across the country are reeling from gaps in standard data.
Covid-19 Resource Hub
Alternative education campuses or AECs target students who will be most impacted by lengthy disruptions in daily life, such as their school unexpectedly closing. The A-GAME leadership suggests that charter authorizers provide guidance expressing your expectations and the contractual and legal requirements your schools must meet during this unprecedented time. The guidance should include academic goals as well as your expectations around wrap-around services, including: services for mental health, social-emotional well-being, parenting, special education, food, housing, and other life essentials. The resources and information provided here may be helpful for you and the schools you authorize to provide meaningful services to students and their families.
Meet the A-GAME Trailblazers
Piloting with the hardest schools to measure using traditional measures, the A-GAME came up with a process for school accountability that moves well beyond standardized test results. Meet the trailblazers in this video.
In the Accountability Disconnect and Defining Quality video, school leaders discuss the disconnect when assessing school quality using the current state and authorizer accountability systems. They discuss the common measures used for capturing student growth and achievement such as proficiency rates on state assessments, four-year cohort graduation rates, truancy or attendance, and high school exit exams. The school leaders explain how these measures miss what matters most to their families, students, and teachers. When if they were every labeled a failing school by their authorizer or the state’s report card, the school leaders discuss the impact of being considered a “failing school” on their staff and families and how a new approach to accountability is necessary.
In the Innovative Measures video, hear from school leaders about the types of measures and methods of differentiation they, with their authorizer, developed using the A-GAME process to capture student academic growth and social-emotional learning. These measures go Website Description:
beyond what is currently used by states and authorizers to determine school quality. They are derived by asking what matters most for the school, their families, and their staff. They are intended to measure the extent to which the school is successfully meeting its mission.
In the Authorizer Mindset video, school leaders discuss what they need in their authorizer in order to create a positive relationship that supports student learning. They discuss the issues that they have had when authorizers are not willing to look beyond a one-size-fits-all approach to authorizing. They reflect on how they felt being able to truly negotiate their goals with their authorizer due to having an external facilitator as part of the Responsive Goals process.
In the Higher Standards video, school leaders react to the question about whether Responsive Goals, which do not rely on state assessment proficiency rates and other federally recognized accountability measures, as lowering standards. The leaders respond how they feel that responsive goals, that measure ALL students, actually raise the standards.
Social Emotional Learning
Hear from charter authorizers about how they incorporate social emotional development in their oversight frameworks and school goals. They respond to school involvement in choosing the assessment, the rollout process, and how the data can inform schools in turn around or recovering from a low academic year. They speak to the importance of capturing quantitatively school climate, student engagement, and social emotional development as well as the validity of the data.
Why A-GAME and its Impact
Here from school leaders about the impact A-GAME has had on their relationship with their authorizer, their ability to align their accountability goals with staff goals and to finally have charter goals that measure what matters.
How A-GAME can work with all schools
In How A-GAME can Work with All Schools, school leaders of alternative education campuses respond to the question on how all schools should be measured. They discuss that each school has a different mission, course offering, and approach and that this should be considered when evaluating the school’s impact.
Our office greatly values the relationships we have established with the charter schools in our portfolio. As an authorizer, Compliance monitoring is certainly an important part of the work, but catching schools doing something wrong is no fun. It's more enjoyable and inspiring to recognize schools for doing something innovative and effective. Students and families are better served when all stakeholders are pulling in the same direction.
Delaware Department of Education
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If you are an authorizer interested in joining one or more of these authorizers in a regional network? Want to learn more about the A-GAME? Please complete this form.