IL Practice Public Policy
In Progress
Grant Partnership
Appletree Institute for Innovation
Jack McCarthy, President and CEO, AppleTree Institute for Education Innovation, [email protected]

AppleTree Institute for Education Innovation, in collaboration with ideal learning providers in Washington, D.C., is working to revise the system of quality assessment for early learning charter schools in the city. 

Context and Need

The DC Public Charter School Board (DC PCSB) uses a Performance Management Framework (PMF) to annually review early childhood education programs’ performance and inform its School Quality Report. While DC PCSB’s current PMF was useful in establishing baselines for performance, the system today is not well aligned with quality measures embraced by ideal learning providers.  

Goals and Impact

This project centers on guiding the D.C. charter school board to adopt a revised PMF that ensures valid, accurate, and reliable measures of classroom quality for diverse early childhood education approaches. Beginning in 2018, AppleTree organized a Steering Committee with 15 member schools (nearly a quarter of all charter schools in DC), which includes Montessori and Tools of the Mind programs. Together, these schools have analyzed existing performance management frameworks from other states/localities and developed profiles of alternative measurement tools. Most notably, the Steering Committee developed a set of recommendations to improve the assessment of quality in early learning in DC, which have been shared with the DC PCSB. 

Click here to view an early 2021 webinar about the project.

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