Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms

Amended Charter School Act

In 2011, the New Mexico Legislature amended the Charter School Act (Act) in several ways. The purpose of the amended Act is to increase the accountability of charter schools and authorizers. The primary changes to the Act were the addition of a separate “Performance Contract” (§22-8B-9 NMSA 1978) between the authorizer and the charter school and “Performance Frameworks” (§22-8B-9.1 NMSA 1978).

Assessment

A method, tool, or system used to evaluate and demonstrate student progress toward—or mastery of—a particular learning standard or goal (e.g., a standardized test, short-cycle tests, teacher-developed tests, a portfolio-judging system, etc.).

Current Charter

The current charter is the approved charter (or charter contract) with any amendments and/or changes that have been authorized for the current operational term.

Material Term

The APS CMSD will use the following definition used by the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) for Material Terms: The term material means that the authorizer deems the matter relevant to

  1. The authorizer’s accountability decisions including but not limited to decisions about whether to renew or non-renew or revoke a charter; or
  2. Information that a family would consider relevant to a decision to attend the charter school.

The material terms will be the provisions that the charter school will need to amend in order for the school to modify any of the terms of the contract.

Please note: The material terms are those essential elements with which the charter school agrees to comply. These are not the only terms that could be breached in the contract and do not identify the only terms that could be subject to “material violations.” There could be a material violation of any term in the Performance Contract or as demonstrated by the results of the Performance Framework.

Material Violation

A material violation occurs when one party fails to perform their duties as specified in a contract. A contract may be violated by one or both parties. A material violation may result in the need for corrective action or other action as allowed by law to be taken by the Authorizer. There could be a material violation of any term in the Performance Contract or as demonstrated by the results of the Performance Framework.

Mission-Specific Indicators/Goals

The Amended Charter School Act requires schools to identify at least two mission-specific indicators/goals in the renewal application that set targets for the implementation of the school mission. Mission-specific indicators/goals MUST BE provided within the renewal application. If the application is approved, these indicators/goals will be used as a “first draft” for discussion during the negotiations with the Authorizer.

For the purposes of this renewal application, the indicators/goals will show the capacity of the applicant to identify appropriate indicators/goals aligned with the mission of the school moving forward. During the later contracting process after approval, the indicators/goals that are finally negotiated and put into the Performance Framework allow the school to demonstrate its achievements related to the school mission. The Performance Framework is assessed on an annual basis and the school-specific indicators may be revised yearly. Please note that renewing schools are encouraged to use their history of performance, including baseline data if available, when developing the two mission-specific indicators/goals and metrics.

Mission-specific indicators/goals put into the renewal application should:

  1. demonstrate the school’s ability to implement the school’s mission;
  2. be in a format set forth below which is a SMART goal format (specific, measurable, attainable, rigorous, and time-bound—see below); and finally,
  3. include metrics and measures using the following criteria: “Exceeds standards,” “Meets standards,” “Does not meet standards,” and “Falls far below standards.”

If you define a cohort of students (i.e. 11th-grade students that have attended the school for at least two semesters), you must identify how many students are in the cohort and how many are the larger category if no cohort were identified.

The following is a sample of a strong mission-specific indicator. You do NOT need to copy it. It is intended to give you a sample of what a complete SMART mission-specific indicator looks like.

Sample Mission Specific Indicator

Track and improve graduation rates for two distinct cohorts.

  • Cohort 1: Students who begin their 9th-grade year enrolled at the school and remain for the entirety of their high school career.
  • Cohort 2: Students who enrolled for less than their full high school career but are defined as part of a graduation cohort established by their enrollment into 9th grade.

2.a Did the school meet its mission-specific indicator(s)?

Exceeds Standard: The school surpasses the targets of this indicator if the following rates are met for each cohort:

  • Cohort 1. 95% or more of Cohort 1 students graduate AND
  • Cohort 2. 95% or more of Cohort 2 students graduate OR if it is less than 95%, there is an increase of 5 percentage points from the average of the previous three years for Cohort 2 students.

Meets Standard: The school surpasses the targets of this indicator if the following rates are met for each cohort:

  • Cohort 1. 90% or more of Cohort 1 students graduate AND
  • Cohort 2. 90% or more of Cohort 2 students graduate OR if it is less than 90%, there is an increase of 5 percentage points from the average of the previous three years for Cohort 2 students.

Does Not Meet Standard: The school does not surpass the targets of this indicator if the following rates are met for each cohort:

  • Cohort 1. 80% or more of Cohort 1 students graduate AND
  • Cohort 2. 80% or more of Cohort 2 students graduate OR if it is less than 80%, there is an increase of 5 percentage points from the average of the previous three years for Cohort 2 students.

Falls Far Below Standard: The school falls far below the standard if it fails to meet any of the standards set forth above.

New Mexico Condition Index (NMCI)

The PSFA ranks every school facility condition in the state-based upon relative need from the greatest to the least. This metric is used to compare and prioritize schools for capital outlay funding.

Performance Contract

(§22-8B-9 NMSA) The charter authorizer shall enter into a contract with the governing body of the applicant charter school within 30 days of approval of the charter application. The charter contract shall be the final authorization for the charter school and shall be part of the charter. If the chartering authority and the applicant charter school fail to agree upon the terms of or enter into a contract within 30 days of the approval of the charter application, either party may appeal to the secretary to finalize the terms of the contract, provided that such appeal must be provided in writing to the secretary within 45 days of the approval of the charter application. Please note: the charter school and APS may agree to an extension of the 30-day deadline.

Performance Frameworks

[§22-8B-9.1 NMSA] The charter contract will also include a performance framework tied to annual metrics and measures for:

  1. student academic performance;
  2. student academic growth;
  3. achievement gaps in proficiency and growth between student subgroups;
  4. attendance;
  5. recurrent enrollment from year to year;
  6. if the charter school is a high school, post-secondary readiness;
  7. if the charter school is a high school, graduation rate;
  8. financial performance and sustainability; and,
  9. governing body performance

Public Schools Facilities Authority (PSFA)

The PSFA serves as the staff to the Public School Capital Outlay Council (PSCOC) to implement the New Mexico Condition Index (NMCI) as well as to approve and monitor lease assistance applications.

Self-Study

The Self-Study is a procedure where an education program describes, evaluates, and subsequently improves the quality of its efforts. Through the self-study process, a program conducts a systematic and thorough examination of all its components in light of its stated mission. Self-study is a process that should be ongoing. Active and continuous involvement in self-study reflects a commitment to the concept of providing students with a quality educational experience.

SMART Goals

SMART is an acronym that provides guidance for the setting of meaningful and measurable goals that stands for:
AcronymDescription
Specific Addresses the needs of a specific or identifiable student population
Measurable Describes how the goal will be measured/quantified with concrete criteria
Ambitious & Attainable Stretches the school while still considered to be attainable
Relevant Relates to student learning and achievement and is data-based
Time-bound Specifies a specific time period for measurement. Shows commitment to a target date/deadline. Helps create a sense of urgency