Tiered Quality Assurance

As autonomous schools, DPS charter schools are held accountable for their performance and are responsible for their own school improvement efforts, while also having access to optional universal supports offered by DPS.

To help ensure Great Schools in Every Neighborhood, charter schools with concerns in any of these areas may be identified for Tiered Quality Assurance (TQA), which involves enhanced oversight as well as prioritized access to optional supports. (Optional supports, available to all DPS charter schools, include those for school leadership, board, and compliance and advocacy.)

The TQA process for charter schools aims to build the capacity of charter school leaders and boards to improve a school’s performance, while also respecting a charter school’s autonomy and unique mission.

Charter School Tiers

All charter schools and networks are placed into one of three tiers: Intensive (the most support), Strategic (moderate support) and Universal (minimal support) based on the following factors:

  • Academic Performance: As determined by DPS’ shared accountability measures defined by the School Performance Framework.
  • English Language Acquisition (ELA) Performance: As determined by the English Language Learner (ELL) growth in both content and language, compared to non-ELL peers.
  • Organizational Health: Primarily based on
    • a) Leadership, as determined by leadership/board transition or other significant changes, and/or
    • b) Financial Health, as determined by the schools’ rating on the Financial Performance Framework (FPF).
  • Compliance: As determined by the school’s track record of meeting accountability requirements related to required submissions, implementation of educational programming, and issues related to private facilities.

Schools receive a greater degree of accountability and prioritized access to universal supports based upon tiered status, with higher tiers receiving both increased oversight and offers of support.


TQA Accountability Oversights include

  • Meeting with school leader and board chair or network representative to discuss factors leading to tiered status and to review optional supports.
  • PMT-led data presentation of school data to school’s board or network team.
  • Observations of board meeting and formative feedback.
  • PMT-led school site visits and formative feedback.
  • Mid- and end-of-year data progress monitoring.

For questions regarding TQA, please contact Jodi Mattingly, Manager of Tiered Quality Assurance.

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