Charter Schools / Oversight Program

Oversight Program

Friends of Education's Oversight Program articulates specific school goals with respect to three areas: 

Academic Performance, Fiscal Performance, and Operations and Legal Compliance.
Academic Performance: Is the school improving student achievement?
Expecting each charter school to fulfill its obligation to improve student performance, Friends of Education evaluates each charter school's results and growth from the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments in addition to results from other rigorous assessments used to demonstrate student proficiency.  The six criteria used to evaluate academic performance -- Achieving the Commissioner's Expectations for Public Schools (World's Best Workforce Goals), Absolute Proficiency, Comparative Proficiency, Growth, Achievement Gap, and Academic Governance -- establish school goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
Fiscal Management: Is the school fiscally sound?
Expecting schools to demonstrate fiscal responsibility, Friends of Education evaluates the school’s fund balance, which reflects its ability to pay unforeseen expenses, and the receipt of the State Finance Award, which recognizes sound fiscal health and management policies and procedures. Friends of Education also evaluates the school's external audits and school board's demonstration of sound fiscal governance.  Friends of Education also evaluates additional measures of financial performance such as near- and long-term fiscal health metrics which inform Friends of Education's oversight.
Operations and Legal Compliance: Is the school well-managed and legally compliant?
Expecting schools to be legally compliant and operated effectively, Friends of Education evaluates the degree to which the school complies with all applicable laws, such as admissions, teacher licensing, and special education requirements.  In addition, Friends of Education evaluates effective operations and proper legal compliance through attendance at board meetings, review of board meeting minutes, discussions with staff and other stakeholders, MDE audit results, and the adherence to charter requirements.
As part of its Oversight Program, Friends of Education engages in both unannounced and scheduled site visits.  Site visits may be conducted by individuals contracted on behalf of Friends of Education.