Dr. Jody Ernst is the founding Vice President of Research and Policy Analytics for Momentum Strategy & Research (MSR), a non-profit dedicated to conducting collaborative research among the many organizations serving charter schools across the country.
Previously, Dr. Ernst was the Senior Director of Research & Evaluation for the Colorado League of Charter Schools where she began her pioneering research on the growth of high-risk students and assisted the Colorado Department of Education and many charter school authorizers across the country to develop frameworks to hold alternative education campuses (AECs) accountable in a way that was both rigorous and relevant.
Dr. Ernst continues her research into alternative accountability in her new role at MSR, focusing on research to inform schools, districts, state education agencies, and authorizers on appropriate benchmarks for schools serving high-risk populations.
Alternatives Across America
Momentum Strategy & Research has recently updated its Alternative School and Performance Database and will summarize the state of alternative schools and programs across the 50 states and DC. Attendees will learn about the number, type, variety, and distribution of alternative schools across the country, including student enrollment and general profiles. Momentum will also preview findings on national performance trends for measures such as cohort graduation rates, proficiency outcomes on state standardized assessments and the relationship found between state education policies and performance outcomes. Attendees will leave with an understanding of how their states’ policies can impact alternative school performance outcomes as well as the ability to set informed targets for alternative school accountability. In addition, Momentum will announce a new partnership with the National Charter Schools Institute, including a recently awarded federal dissemination grant, and discuss how this partnership will increase opportunities for school and authorizer involvement in shaping alternative accountability research, policy, and practice.
Momentum Strategy & Research and the National Charter School Institute (the A-TEAM) announce their newly awarded Federal CSP funded project, A-GAME (Advancing Great Authorizing and Modeling Excellence), which is focused on helping charter school authorizers implement evidence based methods of accountability for the alternative schools in their portfolio. Attendees will learn about the goals of the 3-year project and how schools (charter or non-charter alike), school districts, charter authorizers, and others can become involved and benefit from the project’s work.
Past AAPF17 Sessions:
Trends and Opportunities in Statewide Accountability for Youth in Alternative Schools under ESSA
This session will feature a panel of experts focused on understanding how states across the country are considering the unique characteristics of alternative options schools in the state school accountability plans. The implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires states to articulate how they are incorporating alternative options schools in the over-arching design of state school accountability systems. This process is opening the door for education leaders to reexamine the role that alternative options schools play in ensuring that all students have an effective pathway to college- and career-readiness. Panelists will examine how states are defining alternative schools, how states are approaching the overall design of alternative accountability systems, and specific indicators of continuous improvement. In addition, panelists will discuss how some states are building policy consensus on accountability approaches that balance the need for common measures, with the need for customization and innovative program design.
Opportunity Measures – Validating Unique Student Outcomes and School Success
Together, Momentum Strategy & Research and a consortium of Colorado alternative education campuses are leading the way on a project demonstrating how the types of unique student outcomes central to alternative schools can be validated and used for accountability purposes. Using an external validation model developed by Momentum, each participating school submits unique mission specific measures for external review, including ultimate rating by a panel of reviewers. Reviewers assess the outcomes of the measures on a rubric, providing immediately useable information to the schools about the strength of their outcomes. Documentation of the process and the combined outcomes of all participating schools will be used to show how the evaluation of unique measures can be part of a robust and meaningful accountability system. Attendees will hear a detailed account from a participating alternative school about the measures they are using in the Opportunity Measure Pilot Project and how the review process has helped validate data on measures that speak to their unique mission and the plan to incorporate this data into how the school is held accountable.
Past AAPF Sessions:
Can an Alternative Accountability Framework be Customized, Rigorous, and Mutually Agreed Upon? Learn what’s possible when schools, districts, and charter authorizers are committed to rigorous, customized accountability, and state policy gives them the latitude to make it happen. Over the last few years Momentum has worked with a number of alternative schools and their district and/or charter authorizer to develop a framework of accountability that is arrived at with a culture of collaboration and consensus combined with the best available data to inform and support the parties’ objectives. This session will identify key steps in the process of developing trust and collaboration between alternative schools and the organizations that are responsible for holding them accountable, and will also show some of the outcomes from that work. This will be a panel discussion including leadership from both an alternative school and a charter school authorizer—each sharing their thoughts and experiences working through this process.
the annual alternative accountability policy forum is aN Education policy conference from:
Alternative Accountability Policy Forum 2605 Temple Heights Dr Suite F., Oceanside, CA 92056 (916) 712-9087