Charter School Scale Up

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Green Dot Public Schools (GDPS) is the largest and best-funded Charter Management Organization in the state of California serving more than 7000 economically disadvantaged children of color in Los Angeles. The original school, Ánimo Leadership, opened in 2000 and by 2004 the GDPS brand and model was scaled-up to five total sites forming the "Founding Five Schools". The next phase of expansion occurred in 2006 as Green Dot doubled in size when it opened the five "Jefferson Transformation Project" schools in East LA. One year later, the third scale-up phase added another eight schools in Watts known collectively as the "Locke Transformation Project". The GDPS model and brand was finally scaled-up across the nation in 2008 when Green Dot New York opened its doors in the South Bronx. In the context of this rapid scale-up, this case study investigated the phenomenon of the inherent tension between maintaining the fidelity of the original model school's design, culture and values with local adaptation of the brand by stakeholders at the expansion sites. 28 Green Dot stakeholders were interviewed and a co-research team composed of eight members from four different school clusters volunteered to help guide the study as well as analyze and check the validity of the emerging findings and interpretations. Ultimately, this study aimed to assist Green Dot in increasing student achievement by formulating recommended practices that will most effectively assure implementation of its core values and brand at all expansion schools. This case study should be of interest to leaders of Charter Management Organizations planning to scale-up their model and brand to multiple sites.

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Charter School Scale Up

  1. 1. How to avoid…"
  2. 2. innovation since the handgun.” – James Gray !
  3. 3. “When we understand that slid we’ll have won the war.”! ! -- General Stanley McChrysta
  4. 4. Charter School Scale-Up: 
Managing Fidelity and Adaptation
  5. 5. operation in 40 states and D.C
  6. 6. Charters are poised to 
 scale-up quickly:!1. Obama’s educational policy shift! 2. “Race to the Top”! 3. Philanthropic pipeline!
  7. 7. Scale-Up through Brandin
  8. 8. Strategic Issues in CMO Scale-Up 1. Financial 2. Political 3. Organizational
  9. 9. Scale-Up 1. Fidelity 2. Teaching 3. Ownership 4. Communicatio 5. Feedback 6. Resources 7. Political
  10. 10. Scale-Up1. Fidelity 2. Teaching
  11. 11. Scale-Up1. Fidelity
  12. 12. Key Scale-Up FactorFidelity Adaptation
  13. 13. Key Scale-Up Factor AdaptationFidelity
  14. 14. Fidelity Adaptation “Ignore fidelity and what will you take to scale? Ignore adaptation and your design will crack. This is more than just a challenge. It is a dilemma. It can only be managed, never resolved.”
  15. 15. Largest and best funded CMO in CA 2. Poised to scale-up ~8 x in size 3. Green Dot NY
  16. 16. Literatur Review
  17. 17. y economicsnizationalheory software engineeringicalering social welfare policyment medicine public health
  18. 18. -up research [in education] is translational rese conducted with the explicit objective of informractice — which means not only documenting th rtance of implementing interventions with intet documenting the benefits of balancing fidelitymplementation with adaptation to dynamic loca contexts” (Schneider & McDonald, 2007b, p. 11).
  19. 19. 1. Birth/New Venture 2. Growth/Expansion 3. Maturity/ Professionalization 4. Consolidation, Diversification and Integration 5. Decline and Revitalization
  20. 20. ResearchMethods
  21. 21. CcAaSsEe SsTtUuDdYy “inquiry that investigates atemporary phenomenon within its -life context, especially when the boundaries between thehenomenon and context are not clearly evident” (Yin, 2009, p. 15)
  22. 22. CcAaSsEe SsTtUuDdYyPhenomenon = T ension between fidelity and adaptation Unit of Analysis = Green Dot Benchmark Exams Program ontext = Large CMO Scale-Up
  23. 23. Green Dot BenchmarkExams Program
  24. 24. “mandate” Modifications at e
  25. 25. This was the focus of the study for two main reasons: 1. It is most closely aligned with student achievement
  26. 26. This was the focus of the study for two main reasons: 1. It is most closely aligned with student achievement 2. It was the chief problem Green Dot wanted to study and work on
  27. 27. Co-Research Teamomprised of two representativ from each cluster Ho O
  28. 28. Data Collection MethodsIELD NOTES 2. DOCUMENTS 3. IN-DEPTH INTERVIE 4. ASYNCHRONOUS ONLINE
  29. 29. dy Credibility & Interpretive ValidMember Checking 2. Peer debriefing 3. Triangulation 4. PARTICIPATORY/ COLLABORATIVE RESEA
  30. 30. Research Questions1. In the perception of Green Dot Pu Schools’ home office-based manage and site-based teachers andadministrators, what are the barriers t school leaders and teachers believ inhibit the fidelity of implementing t mandates regarding benchmark assessments?
  31. 31. Research Questions 2. What are the perceptions of GreDot Public Schools’ site-based teachand administrators, regarding the ex to which they adopt or do not ado with fidelity home office mandate regarding benchmark assessmentsWhat are some of the reasons they o for the varying degrees of adoption
  32. 32. Research Questions3. In the opinion of Green Dot PubSchools’ home office-based manag and site-based teachers and administrators, what are the polici and/or practices that should be adopted in order to balance the tension between home office mandates and teacher autonomy
  33. 33. ndings: RQ # 1achers feel vulnerable aboutscussing their benchmarkssessment data in public
  34. 34. Teacherulnerability
  35. 35. ndings: RQ # 1achers feel vulnerable aboutscussing their benchmarkssessment data in publicThere is a lack of uniformitycross Green Dot schools in calendars and pacing
  36. 36. Lack of Uniformit 1.alendars. Pacing
  37. 37. ndings: RQ # 1achers feel vulnerable aboutscussing their benchmarkssessment data in publicThere is a lack of uniformitycross Green Dot schools in calendars and pacing. There is a lack of an explicitw-through mechanism for using
  38. 38. No Follow-through!
  39. 39. ndings: RQ # 2 The majority of teacherspted the GDPS’ home officechmarks with a high degree of fidelity
  40. 40. “Green Dot Benchmark Exams” Program only 4 requirements teachers are responsible for:eachers must administer 2. All teachers must follow thenchmark exams in the blueprints/pacing guides lloted time framehool sites must scan their own answer sheets into the SIS softw 4. All teachers must meet after the first 3 benchmark exams to share reflections on their data and collaborate
  41. 41. ndings: RQ # 2 The majority of teacherspted the GDPS’ home officechmarks with a high degree of fidelity Adaptations to the benchmark sessments should be made forspecific subjects and different
  42. 42. One size doe not fit all
  43. 43. commendations: RQ # 3he benchmark program should beinued with specific adaptations ate school and home office level.
  44. 44. commendations: RQ # 3he benchmark program should beinued with specific adaptations ate school and home office level.een Dot should create and implementrm calendars and pacing guides across the organization.
  45. 45. commendations: RQ # 3he benchmark program should beinued with specific adaptations ate school and home office level.een Dot should create and implementrm calendars and pacing guides across the organization.een Dot should create and implement an
  46. 46. eta-Recommendation:GDPS should plan rategically aroundheir organizational growing pains
  47. 47. THANK YOU
  48. 48. Key Scale-Up Factor
  49. 49. You will implement t benchmark assessme as rolled out by the home officeWe’ll do it our way,

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