Issue: The charter contracts for Badger Rock Middle School (BRMS) and James C. Wright Middle School (Wright) expire on June 30, 2016. Per respective contracts, the Board is required to make a decision whether or not to renew Wright’s contract at least six months before the contract’s expiration and BRMS’ contract at least three months before the contract’s expiration. As a result, the Board discussed both charter schools’ performance and future plans on December 7, 2015 to support final action to renew the contracts at the Regular Meeting on December 14, 2015.
Background: In November 2013, MMSD adopted a new charter school renewal process that requires charter schools and their governing bodies to prepare an evidence-based report detailing the implementation, efficacy and plan for the future term across six domains 1) Purpose and Vision, 2) Governance, 3) Teacher and Learning, 4) Operations, 5) Fiscal Management, 6) Legal Compliance. Given that the process was successful in supporting the Board’s renewal of Nuestro Mundo’s charter, we implemented the same process to support the renewal of BRMS and Wright. On February 12, information about the timeline for review and action by the Board was shared via the Weekly Update. In June and September, MMSD administration met with school leadership and governing council members to share the timeline and process for completing the term reports. Schools submitted first drafts of their term reports which were then reviewed by MMSD administration in October. Thereafter, MMSD administration provided feedback to support schools’ refinement of their reports. The final reports were then used to create executive summaries for the Board of Education to support final recommendations on renewal of the charter contracts. On December 4, per request of a Board member, the full term reports were shared with the Board.
If the Board approves the motion to renew contracts for BRMS and Wright, the contracts for each school will be revised to reflect clear expectations we have for improvement over the upcoming year (see detail in Analysis section below). There will also be certain modification we will need to make to reflect changes in state laws since the contracts were last negotiated, including changes to governance structures. The contracts will come back to the Board prior to the required April 1 finalization date. We anticipate providing ample time to the Board for review and consideration.
Madison School District slides: Badger Rock Middle School:
The first goal in the district’s Strategic Framework is for every student to be on-track to graduate as measured by key milestones which include proficiency and growth in literacy and mathematics as measured by MAP. Badger Rock showed positive trends in the percent of students meeting growth targets from 2012-2015, increasing annually in nearly all subgroups and is above the national average for growth. Overall proficiency, however, has seen a decrease over the last several years with the exception of a significant increase for students with disabilities. Note that some significant changes in proficiency and growth trends in certain subgroups may result from small numbers of students in those groups, an example being the change in reading proficiency for multiracial students.
While the results in MAP math growth vary, the percentage of students meeting growth targets is still far above the national average. While we have seen some incremental improvement overall in math proficiency, we’ve seen a decline in proficiency levels for African America students.
Looking at the data in a different way, the BRMS Governance Council compared fall to spring growth targets for BRMS students to MMSD middle schools overall. This comparison showed BRMS students outpacing MMSD middle school students each year in meeting math growth targets 2012-2015 as well as in meeting reading growth targets in 2014-2015.
Additionally, BRMS students have shown growth from year to year, outpacing MMSD middle school students in math growth target spring to spring 2012-2015 and in reading growth target spring to spring for 2014-2015.
and Wright Middle School:
The first goal in the district’s Strategic Framework is for every student to be on-track to graduate as measured by key milestones which include proficiency and growth in literacy and mathematics as measured by MAP. While Wright showed some decline in the percent of students meeting MAP reading growth targets from 2012-2015, they are still above the national average and for almost all student groups. While improvement in reading proficiency has been incremental overall, there has been a more positive trajectory for African American students, which is a focus group for the school.
The trends in MAP math growth 2012-2015 varied but the school is above the national average and for most student groups. Trends for MAP proficiency across subgroups did not change significantly from 2012-2015; it is mostly flat or slightly down.
Wright examined students’ academic progress in comparison to the national average MAP reading RIT score. Graph 1 shows that overall and in all but one racial/ethnic groups for the past three years, an increasing percentage of Wright students outpace the national average MAP reading RIT score.
Graph 2 shows that overall and among economically disadvantaged students, an increasing percentage of Wright students outpace the national average for the past three years. Sixteen percent (16%) of Wright’s ELL students have met or surpassed the national average MAP RIT score in the last two years, while Wright’s students with identified disabilities showed a decrease (from 7% to 5%) in the percentage of students at or above the national average MAP RIT score.
Madison’s “charter” schools operate within the constraints of the legacy government schools. Unlike other districts, Madison has not offered significant governance model diversity, nor parental choice within the District. Perhaps that will change one day, given its long term, disastrous reading results.
The rejected Madison Preparatory Academy IB Charter School would have operated independently, that is outside of the governance and teacher union contract requirements.