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Assessing Charter School Performance: Tools for Predicting and Monitoring the Academic and Financial Risk of Charter Schools. Who is Self-Help?. Non-profit CDFI founded in 1980

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Assessing Charter School Performance: Tools for Predicting and Monitoring the Academic and Financial Risk of Charter Schools

who is self help
Who is Self-Help?
  • Non-profit CDFI founded in 1980
  • Mission: Creating and protecting ownership and economic opportunity for people of color, women, rural residents and low-wealth families
  • Over $100 million in financing charter schools nationwide since 1997
purposes uses of rating matrix
Purposes & Uses of Rating Matrix
  • Standardize risk assessment of loans to compare relative risk
  • Differentiate monitoring efforts based on risk
  • Potential loan evaluation
  • Underwriting feedback mechanism
  • Assess portfolio risk as a whole to manage grant funds
  • Determine loan loss reserve
  • Training tool for new loan officers

Customized for Commercial Real Estate, Charter School, and Other Lending

sh charter school risk rating process
SH Charter School Risk Rating Process





Loan Package

Rating Matrix

Credit Committee

Probability of





Risk Rating



Loan Closing


risk rating matrix
Risk Rating Matrix
  • Criteria: Based on 5 Cs of Credit
    • Capacity to Repay
    • Character/Management
    • Conditions
    • Capital
    • Collateral
  • Each criterion is assigned different weights based on importance
academic performance monitoring
Academic Performance Monitoring

Academic elements assessed using two instruments:

  • Initial School Evaluation
    • Qualitative & quantitative information
    • Helps make initial loan decision
  • Academic Monitoring Tool
    • Quantitative
    • Used for performance monitoring
initial school evaluation
Initial School Evaluation
  • Tool used to gather background information on prospective borrowers
  • Collects qualitative and quantitative school data
  • Helps assess how closely borrower meets our mission: serving at-risk student populations to close the achievement gap
  • Information used to help loan officer make an initial lending decision
initial school evaluation1
Initial School Evaluation
  • Gathers school information in four domains:
    • Student / Community Population
    • Academic Performance
    • School Curriculum
    • Non-Academic Indicators
  • Designed to compliment site visits and interviews with school leadership and other relevant third parties (e.g., authorizer, resource centers)
academic monitoring tool
Academic Monitoring Tool
  • Public Impact developed academic assessment tool for charter portfolio
  • Used to assess risk of school closure due to academic performance
  • Helps us monitor current loans and predict the academic success of future loans
academic monitoring tool1
Academic Monitoring Tool
  • Converts achievement data into a single performance score, used in the risk matrix
    • Assigns school scores from 1 (no risk of closure) to 5 (high risk of closure)
    • Scores based on AYP data, student proficiency, performance history over 3 years, comparisons to state and district data
  • Monitoring tool tracks progress over time, and compares schools
example of school scoring
Example of School Scoring

For each measure school receives score of 1 (highest) to 5 (lowest) based on predetermined thresholds:

how we weigh the data
How We Weigh the Data
  • To find total score, calculate weighted average
  • From highest to lowest

1) Growth percentage

2) Change in performance over time

3) Comparison to state and district averages

4) Percent proficiency on state tests

5) AYP subgroup performance

6) AYP history

improvement areas in process
Improvement Areas in Process
  • Reevaluating performance thresholds
  • Consideration for schools with high percentage of special needs populations
  • Tracking more intangible qualities of a school
  • Input of charter school closure rate & other authorizer variables
contact us
Contact Us

Jane Ellis

Director, Charter School Lending


Self-Help Services Corp

301 West Main Street

Durham, NC 27701