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Four Domains for Significant and Sustainable Charter School Improvement: A Systems Framework for the Charter Context

By Aimee Evan, Steve Canavero


Charter schools are public schools that have more autonomy than traditional public schools. These schools are free to determine their own budget, class and school size, staffing level, curricula, educational programs, and length of school day and year. But what happens when a charter school underperforms and fails to live up to its charter and, thus, to the hopes and expectations of the students it serves?

This research-based resource presents a framework for educators and policymakers at all levels of the public charter school system who believe that improvement is within reach for some struggling charter schools.  The framework is adapted from the Four Domains Framework for Rapid School Improvement, currently used in over 25 states.

The resource is designed for charter schools — and their boards — that have been offered the opportunity to improve, for authorizers that want to consider the improvement option for any of their underperforming schools, and for states that want to support charter school improvement.

The framework is intended to help organize and guide both policy and action. In particular, it focuses on improvement within and across four areas of school operation shown by research and practice to be critical to student learning:

  • Improvement leadership
  • Talent development
  • Instructional transformation
  • Culture shift

Visit our Charters & Choice page for more information and resources.

Resource Details

Product Information

Copyright: 2020
Format: PDF
Pages: 52
Publisher: WestEd