PCSD examines four (4) key criteria to assess the potential social impact of prospective school sites:
To assess the income level of potential students we use the Title I eligibility of the schools surrounding our potential site. Title I is a federal grant program providing students from low-income families free or reduced lunch. We target areas with high Title I eligibility.
- Chronic Overcrowding and Large Schools
Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has extensive statistics on the enrollment and level of overcrowding in the district’s schools. We target neighborhoods with high overcrowding and with schools that have large student populations.
- At-Risk Student Composition
We use published data from LAUSD (and other served districts) quantifying the minority enrollment and eligibility for federal Title I subsidies of contiguous District schools to forecast expected minority composition and low-income nature of our targeted communities.
- Low Academic Performance
Our goal is to provide high-quality charter schools for areas of Los Angeles where the current schools are underperforming academically. We use the Academic Performance Index (API) scores of the surrounding schools to assess the quality of academic choices in an area are. The API is the centerpiece of the statewide accountability system in California public education. Each school receives two API scores, a statewide rank and a similar schools rank.
- Statewide Rank
All schools that receive APIs are ranked in deciles by school type: elementary, middle, and high. A rank of 10 is the highest and 1 is the lowest. Each decile in each school type contains 10 percent of all schools of that type. School districts and schools in the Alternate Schools Accountability Model (ASAM) do not receive statewide ranks.
- Similar Schools Rank
All schools with at least 100 students with test results included in the API are also ranked in deciles by school type when compared to schools with similar characteristics. The PSAA specifies these characteristics to include: pupil mobility, pupil ethnicity, pupil socioeconomic status, percentage of teachers who are fully credentialed, percentage of teachers who hold emergency credentials, percentage of pupils who are English language learners, average class size per grade level, and whether the schools operate multi-track year-round educational programs
- Statewide Rank