All public charter schools in Idaho are issued a performance certificate by their authorizer. This document is a legal agreement detailing the roles and responsibilities of both parties and identifying the five-year operational term awarded to the school. The PCSC’s performance framework is incorporated into each school’s performance certificate and serves to communicate the expected performance outcomes. Each year, schools’ actual outcomes are measured against these established standards, and an annual report is issued to the school and the public. These reports are then used to inform the PCSC’s renewal decisions at the end of each school’s performance certificate term.
The performance framework that applies to all schools establishes standards for outcomes in four categories: Academic, Operational, Financial, and Mission-Specific. Mission-Specific measures are not required, but may be included in the school’s performance certificate if additional data points are needed to reflect that school’s unique program and successes.
The academic section focuses on quantitative academic outcomes. It reflects the PCSC’s commitment to considering schools’ performance in the context of their communities and student demographics. Although some results may not be made publicly available, in order to protect individually identifiable student information, the PCSC may still use this information for the purpose of making authorizing decisions.
The mission-specific section provides an opportunity for meaningful acknowledgement of schools’ achievements that are not reflected elsewhere in the framework. These measures may be academic or non-academic in nature, but must be objective and data-driven. Mission-specific measures are generally optional; however, inclusion of certain mission-specific measures may be required as a condition of the performance certificate.
The operational section of the framework contains measures designed to consider whether schools are operating in compliance with federal and state law, authorizer requirements, and the provisions of their performance certificates.
The financial section evaluates schools’ near-term and long-term sustainability. The eight measures in this section are designed to help evaluate a school’s responsible use of public funds by indicating the financial health of the school.