Evaluation of the District-Charter Collaboration Grants

Prepared for
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded a series of District-Charter Collaboration Grants to seven cities in November 2012, with the goal of fostering cooperation between the public and charter school sectors. The seven cities that received grants are Boston, Denver, Hartford (Connecticut), New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, and Spring Branch (Texas). Each city is using grant funding to conduct programs and activities that enable schools to collaborate and share best practices across sectors. Although the specific programs and activities differ across grantees, common types of initiatives include leadership training, teacher coaching, cross-sector school partnerships, assistance with the transition to Common Core state standards, and community outreach. 

To assess whether and how these grants are fostering cooperation between public and charter schools, this evaluation will include both impact and implementation analyses. Through a series of interviews, surveys, site visits, and administrative data collection during the 2013–2014 and 2014–2015 school years, Mathematica will rigorously measure the effects of the collaborations on school effectiveness and equity. We will document the extent of the collaborations, key contextual factors, and the sharing of effective practices between sectors. We will then synthesize our findings to identify key challenges and promising practices for creating district-charter collaborations. The findings will be presented via a series of interim summary briefs and a final report in May 2016.