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State board visits Marshall Academy

Charter school’s authorizer outlines its monitoring, evaluation process

– The Thurgood Marshall Leadership Academy board heard a report Tuesday from the Indiana Charter School Board about its accountability system for charter schools.

Claire Fiddian-Green, the state board’s director, spoke to the local charter school’s board after visiting the school. The state board authorizes the school’s charter.

Fiddian-Green said at least one visit will occur each year, with the possibility of additional visits. An evaluation will also take place when a charter is up for renewal, which for Marshall Academy is after five years. At that time, the state charter school board would grant a five-year renewal, grant a short-term extension, or revoke the charter.

Fiddian-Green said with the increase in the number of charter school authorizers in Indiana, a greater emphasis has been placed on accountability. Recent legislation has increased the number of organizations authorized to grant charters, which include the state charter school board and more four-year colleges and universities.

The state charter school board approved its accountability system more than a year ago, and a grant it received allowed it to examine the system more closely last summer and make changes.

Accountability is incorporated in the charter agreements the board approves, Fiddian-Green said.

With the help of the grant, the state charter school board made some minor revisions to its system to reflect recent changes in accountability for all public schools, including the state Department of Education’s A-F grading accountability system, she said.

The board will receive a follow-up report based on Fiddian-Green’s visit.

sarah.janssen@jg.net

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