Practice Areas

School Choice/Charter Schools


CEEP has successfully worked with hundreds of schools, districts, agencies, organizations, U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) grantees and state departments of education specifically in relation to charter schools and school choice, with many projects requiring close collaborations and strong partnerships. These evaluation and research programs include the following projects.

Evaluation Technical Assistance to the U. S. Department of Education’s Charter Schools Program

Client: U. S. Department of Education, Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII)
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Working collaboratively with Synergy Enterprises, under a six-year subcontract, CEEP provided technical assistance (TA) to OII staff and recipients of the Public Charter School Program grants (SEA and non- SEAs). CEEP staff helped organize a series of workshops to help grantees understand the characteristics of strong project objectives and performance measures, evaluate the quality of their objectives and measures, and understand how to fix common flaws of such measures. The workshops also overviewed evaluation methods and implementation and targeted potential future applications. As part of OII’s task orders, CEEP conducted an analysis of grantee evaluation designs and continuing grantee performance reports, provided TA to both types of grantees to help them improve the quality of their evaluations. CEEP also assisted SEA and non-SEA grantees with panel reviewer training and analysis of performance reports and analyzed the quality of evaluations. As part of summative evaluation activities, CEEP prepared a final report for OII comparing the quality of evaluations between those who had and had not received TA.

Evaluation Technical Assistance to the U. S. Department of Education’s Voluntary Public School Choice Program

Client: U. S. Department of Education, through subcontract with Synergy Enterprises, Inc.
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Working collaboratively with Synergy Enterprises, CEEP provided technical assistance (TA) to Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII) staff and participants of the Voluntary Public School Choice program, conducting analyses of grantee evaluation designs with a focus on performance measures and evaluation plans. CEEP conducted a meta-analysis of VPSC grantee annual performance reports, provided TA to grantees at the annual project director’s meeting, analyzed and synthesized grantee local evaluation data, and performed site visits and independent data collections and developed rigorous assessment strategies.

Statewide Evaluation of Indiana's Charter Schools

Client: Indiana Department of Education
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With the advent of charter schools in Indiana, a comprehensive evaluation of the system was warranted to examine the relationship among school characteristics, policies, practices, and outcomes. As part of a two-year study, CEEP evaluated the progress of Indiana’s charter schools, including the following program evaluation activities: reviewing charter school application processes of all charter school sponsors; reviewing the purpose and organization of each charter school as defined in its charter contract; and assisting the Department staff in evaluating the use of the federal public charter school grant funds by the charter school grant recipients.

Magnet Schools Assistance Program

Client: U. S. Department of Education, through subcontract with Synergy Enterprises, Inc.
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From 2007-2011, CEEP provided evaluation technical assistance (TA) to Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII) staff and their grantees proposing rigorous evaluations in the Magnet Assistance Program. Working collaboratively with Synergy Enterprises (SEI), CEEP increased the capacity and quality of the scientifically-based evaluation designs for OII programs by providing individualized reviews and recommendations for strengthening evaluation designs; teleconferences and/or individualized consultation via phone or email with grantees to resolve methodological issues; training and education provided at project directors’ meetings and teleconferences, educational forums and online resources on “hot topics” to increase grantee’s internal evaluation capacity. CEEP staff provided a range of TA to MSAP grantees using experimental evaluation designs, including: review of grantee’s revised evaluation plans; facilitation of TA meeting and workshops at two magnet school conferences; follow-up TA phone calls with grantees; review of grantee annual evaluation summary reports; and highlighting magnet school evaluation success stories for OII publications.