Massachusetts Charter Schools
Charter Developer Information
Request for Qualified Reviewers to Participate in Charter Application Review Process
The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Department) reaches out to highly qualified individuals in many different fields to join us in reviewing charter applications. Below is a brief synopsis to familiarize you with the application process as well as a volunteer form for you to complete and submit (along with a resume and/or biography) if you are interested in participating.
Why Serve on an Application Review?
Charter schools are at the cutting edge of education reform both in Massachusetts and nationally. Serving on a charter school application review is a unique opportunity to learn more about these public schools and to contribute to this important reform initiative. Your expertise will help make the charter school review process as robust and fair as possible and therefore more valuable to the schools and to the public.
Who Are We Looking For?
We seek volunteers with expertise in educational leadership, teaching, curriculum development, K-12 research, special education, English language development education, program evaluation, and non-profit governance. Administrators and teachers (from both charter and district schools), business people, educational researchers, and many others have served as excellent application reviewers in past. If you think your experience and professional expertise might be valuable in our review of charter schools, please contact us by completing and submitting the volunteer interest form below.
What Happens during the Charter Application Review Process?
The charter application review process has two phases - prospectus review and final application review. During the prospectus review stage, reviewers will be asked to read and comment on one or two 40-page prospectuses. Copies of prospectuses are distributed after submission on August 1, and reviewers use an online survey tool to record identified evidence based on specific criteria. Volunteers are required to submit their review on or before August 31. The Department will use the feedback from charter application reviewers to assist the Commissioner in determining which applicant groups will be invited to submit final charter applications in early November.
Volunteers who review final applications will be asked to read and comment on one or two final applications in November and December, as well as convene in early December at the Department in Malden to discuss the evidence provided within each application based on specific criteria. The questions raised by review panel participants serve as the basis of the applicant group interviews in early January. Application reviewers play an essential advisory role in the formulation of the Department's recommendations to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, the charter authorizer in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Application Reviewer Volunteer Interest Form
Application Reviewer Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form (required if invited to review)