Tiered-Quality Assurance (TQA)

  • As autonomous schools, DPS charter schools are held accountable for their performance and are responsible for their own school improvement efforts, while also having access to optional universal supports offered by PMT and DPS charter partners.

    As a charter school authorizer, DPS (through PMT) reviews and monitors charter school progress relative to contract benchmarks around academic performance, organization health (including finances) and compliance. To help ensure great schools in every neighborhood, charter schools with concerns in any of these areas may be identified for Tiered Quality Assurance (TQA), which involves enhanced oversight as well as prioritized access to optional supports. (Optional supports, available to all DPS charter schools, include those for school leadership, board and compliance and advocacy.)

    The TQA process for charter schools aims to build the capacity of charter school leaders and boards to improve a school’s performance, while also respecting a charter school’s autonomies and unique mission. The oversights included within TQA are a form of support in and of themselves, designed to support the charter school leader and the school’s board of directors, as they seek to improve outcomes for students; TQA oversights are independent from accountability in the contract renewal process. Choosing to take advantage of TQA supports, or decline them, does not influence recommendations for renewal of charter contracts with DPS.

    For questions about the TQA process, please contact the Portfolio Management Team.

  • Tiering Process

    All charter schools are placed into one of three tiers (universal, strategic, or intensive) based on the following factors:

    1. Academic Performance, as determined by DPS’s shared accountability measures defined by the School Performance Framework (SPF). Schools are most likely to be placed in the intensive tier — the most significant level — due to red or orange ratings on the SPF, or due to significant drops in overall points earned on the SPF.

    2. English Language Acquisition (ELA) Performance, as determined by English Language Learner (ELL) growth in both content and language, compared to non-ELL peers.

    3. Operational Health, primarily a) Leadership, as determined by leadership/board transitions or other significant changes, and b) Financial Health, as determined by the school’s rating on the Financial Performance Framework (FPF.)

    4. Compliance, as determined by the school’s track record of meeting accountability requirements related to required submissions, implementation of educational programming and issues related to private facilities.

    Schools receive a greater degree of accountability and prioritized access to universal supports based upon the tier they are in, with higher tiers receiving both increased oversight and support.   

  • TQA Accountability

    Oversights for schools in the intensive and strategic tiers include:

    • Meeting with school leader and board chair or network representative to discuss factors leading to tiered status and to review optional supports
    • PMT-led data presentation of school data to school's board or network team
    • Observations of board meeting and formative feedback
    • PMT-led school site visit and formative feedback
    • Mid- and end-of-year data progress monitoring

  • Optional Universal Charter School Supports

    School Leadership Supports

    • Thought Partnership
      • Review of instructional program tools, and protocols
      • Review of planning documents
      • Co-observation of classrooms
      • Informal site visits and debriefs
      • Staff/student culture audits
      • Data support
    • Peer Learning Opportunities:
      • Topic-based, group school visits school visits
      • Targeted, individual learning opportunities
      • Topic-based peer learning groups (i.e. elementary, CMAS, AEC)
      • Referrals to peer experts

    Charter Board Supports

    • Thought Partnership:
      • Feedback on meetings
    • Peer Learning Opportunities:
      • Referrals to peer expert
    • Referral to Resources:
      • Colorado League of Charter Schools
      • Other resources

    Compliance and Advocacy Supports

    • Compliance Supports
      • Directing parent escalation
      • UIP review (red and orange schools)
    • District-charter Advocacy
      • Collaborative Council
      • Charter Roundtable
    • Referral to District Resources:
      • Grant opportunities
      • District professional development
      • Technical assistance (i.e. referral to DoTS)


  • Portfolio Management Team
    1860 Lincoln Street, 12th Floor
    Denver, CO 80203
    Phone: 720-423-3709
    Email: portfolio@dpsk12.org