New School Quality Reports validate higher performance at all seven DC charter schools engaging with TenSquare’s multi-year improvement strategy

WASHINGTON (October 31, 2018) – Just-released ratings of the District of Columbia’s charter schools show across-the-board improvement at all seven campuses partnering with TenSquare to achieve dramatic gains in student achievement outcomes and improve school performance. Overall, TenSquare partner schools achieved gains greater than those made by three-quarters of DC charter schools.

Schools partnering with TenSquare to improve school performance averaged a 7-point increase on the DC Public Charter School Board’s 2018 School Quality Report rating, compared with 2017 scores, reflecting that significantly more students are demonstrating college and career readiness. The average improvement rate for charter schools citywide was less than 1 point.

The School Quality Report is the primary tool the Public Charter School Board (PCSB) uses to measure the academic performance of District of Columbia charter schools and place schools into one of three quality tiers. The factors that determine a school’s rating include: student achievement and growth on PARCC tests in math, reading and writing; environmental measures such as attendance and re-enrollment; and outcomes such as high school graduation rates and performance on college-entrance exams.

After a full year of implementing TenSquare’s multi-year school improvement strategy, ratings for the charter support organization’s clients in the District Columbia have increased 7-9 points, and 15-20 points within two years. At TenSquare’s partner schools in DC, between one-half and three-quarters of students are at-risk, and 12%-20% receive special education services.

Taken from the School Quality Reports released today, here’s a summary of performance highlights at TenSquare’s seven partner schools in the District of Columbia:

  • All four Chavez Schools’ scores went up—6 points on average. Chavez Parkside High School (Ward 7) received the highest score in the network—59.8, up 7.6 points over last year—putting the school within striking distance of Tier 1 status. Chavez Capitol Hill High School (50.4, +8.9 points, Ward 6) and Chavez Prep (46.8, +6.5 points, Ward 1) both exceeded the performance conditions that PCSB imposed at the network’s 20-year review last December. Both Chavez high school campuses saw some of the highest growth among charter high schools, performing within the top third of such schools.
  • Perry Street Prep (Ward 5) is also on the cusp of Tier 1. It raised its score 9.1 points, to 60.9. That’s a 30-point improvement since the school enlisted TenSquare in 2014 to lead a turnaround strategy. The PCSB highlighted Perry Street for having among the highest improvement in student re-enrollment rates, a key measure of family satisfaction with rates improving from 68% to 85% in just one year.
  • Meridian (Ward 1), similarly, has increased 17.7 points since starting an improvement plan in 2016. This year’s score, 59.4, is an increase of 8.2 points and nearing Tier 1 status. According to the Public Charter School Board, Meridian is one of only two DC charter schools where student growth scores as measured by PARCC in English language arts and math have increased each year since the test was first administered in 2015.
  • YouthBuild (Ward 1), which serves adult learners, was on the verge of losing its charter in 2014. In 2017 and now in 2018, it attained Tier 1 status. (Schools for adults do not receive school quality scores.) This year, YouthBuild’s 87% GED pass rate was highest among all adult education schools in DC. It was one of only two schools that earned 100% of possible school quality points in college and career readiness metrics, meaning students are exiting the program engaging in employment or postsecondary opportunities at among the highest rates in DC’s adult-ed sector.

“We are proud of all our partner schools’ successes here in DC and around the country,” TenSquare founding partner Josh Kern said. “These results are a testament to the impact that TenSquare has working alongside fellow educators to improve student outcomes.”

“While the improvement is notable, it’s not the entire story. In addition to increases in student achievement, our partner schools’ teachers typically receive significant pay increases and the fund balances of the schools increase substantially. Improving a school does not happen overnight or even in a year. Rigorous academic program, supportive school culture, competitively compensated staff and healthy finances are critical for success.”

The TenSquare process is focused on working with schools to craft a custom strategy and apply the right capacity and expertise to build policies, practices and systems that make for lasting change and improvement. TenSquare uses targeted strategies proven to increase student achievement and proficiency, resulting in measurable increases in performance as demonstrated by school quality scores, among other indicators of success. TenSquare also focuses on building the long-term sustainability and strength of partner schools, resulting in increased teacher pay, increased fund balance, and other indicators of fiscal stability and strength.

“Working together with TenSquare has made our school better,” Perry Street Prep Principal Rachel Crouch said. “More important than the 30 points we’ve added to our school quality rating is the dramatic improvement in student achievement, more positive school culture and higher family satisfaction that is reflected in our rating. Next year we’re aiming for Tier 1, and I know we can get there with continued determination from our teachers and staff along with TenSquare’s expert help.”

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TenSquare is a national charter school support organization that works alongside schools, districts, state and federal agencies, and charter authorizers to make lasting and measurable change in public education. A Certified Business Enterprise based in the District of Columbia, with offices in Las Vegas, Minneapolis, and New Orleans, TenSquare has practice areas in school performance, talent services, facility development, and authorizer/agency support. TenSquare team members bring academic, operational and management expertise from top-tier schools, networks, charter management organizations and state agencies from around the country.

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