Last month we announced three exciting changes to the Achievement School District (ASD) charter authorization process for the 2015-16 school year. The first two, a more narrow focus and an extended window for operators to submit their proposal, are to ensure that we receive high-quality applications that are tailored to meet the specific needs of the students and communities we serve.

The third change, an All Call for charter evaluators, shared information about how to become an evaluator on an ASD Charter Authorization Team. Just as we seek outstanding operators, we are also looking for individuals with experience in academics, operations, and finance, as well as a strong understanding of the communities being served, to evaluate the charter proposals received.

Seeking Strong Evaluators
The ASD is looking for charter evaluators from Tennessee and across the nation. The All Call for Evaluators, a Request for Proposals (RFP), presents an open, fair and transparent selection process that will yield a team of experts in a variety of disciplines. The evaluator selection process will both vet and recognize this expertise:

  1. Anyone can submit a proposal in response to the Request for Proposals. All applicants must complete a video interview, submit a resume, and send a proposal to be considered for the charter evaluation team.
  2. Expertise Exercises will create balanced teams and set compensation. All applicants who advance beyond the initial proposal will be provided with a performance task in one or more areas (academics, operations, and/or finance). These brief exercises will help to validate each applicant’s area(s) of expertise in order to create balanced teams and determine compensation. Performance tasks will be distributed by Thursday, January 30 and will be due back to the ASD by Friday, February 7.
  3. Compensation is differentiated by expertise and experience. In an effort to acknowledge and reward the expertise that our evaluators bring with them, we have developed a differentiated pay system to be put into effect this year. In short, all evaluators will receive the same base pay, with supplements for demonstrable skill in one or more areas (as determined by the Expertise Exercises).

ASD charter evaluators are charged with a daunting task—selecting charter partners that can help us realize our goal of taking schools from the bottom 5% to the top 25% in the state in five years. In return, we will offer evaluators an innovative authorization process, a rigorous professional development opportunity, and compensation that will honor the skills and experience that they bring.

Want to be a part of this important work? The deadline for proposals is 5 p.m. CT on Wednesday, January 22. If you have questions about the timeline, compensation, or anything else pertaining to the RFP for Charter Evaluators, please email Margo Roen at mroen@tnasd.org.

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Dr. Anna Kucaj is the ASD’s Charter Authorization Fellow and is working to refine the authorization process in order to find outstanding charter partners. She spent time as a middle school teacher in the Los Angeles and San Jose Unified School Districts and has served as part of the Metro Nashville Public Schools Office of Innovation.