Critical Drivers of Performance Among School Districts and Charter Management Organizations

Critical Drivers of Performance Among School Districts and Charter Management Organizations

Published: Apr 30, 2020
Publisher: Washington, DC: Mathematica
Key Findings
  • Teachers play a key role in determining students’ success
  • School leaders should be viewed and trained as instructional leaders
  • Shared and well-communicated mission, vision, and goals are critical

School districts and charter management organizations (CMOs) aim to best facilitate students’ learning and growth by supporting the schools within their networks. However, given the large number of potential supports available, leaders might struggle to identify which practices or policies will most effectively set schools and students up for success. This study seeks to better understand which levers school districts and CMOs can use to most effectively improve student achievement. Through a partnership with the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, Mathematica examined existing literature on the drivers of school district and CMO performance, conducted a correlational analysis to understand the relationship between growth in student achievement and district and CMO policies and practices, and developed case studies of three districts (Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township, St. Charles Parish Public Schools, and Chicago Public Schools) and one CMO (DSST, previously known as Denver School of Science and Technology) that were identified as high-performing.

This report identifies three themes, which emerged across findings from the study’s various activities, that district and CMO leaders can use to guide their decision-making about how to drive improvements in student achievement.

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