Idaho's Communities of Excellence Charter School Grant: Cohort 1 Baseline Evaluation 2020

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In 2018, Idaho’s Communities of Excellence (COE) consortium was awarded a $17.1 million Charter Schools Program (CSP) grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The amount of the award increased to $22.5 million in 2019. Grant funds will be distributed over a five-year period with the intent to achieve Idaho’s COE objectives. One of these objectives is to evaluate and disseminate the successes and lessons of high-quality charter schools to impact the broader education system. Boise State University’s Idaho Policy Institute (IPI) was chosen through a competitive bid process to conduct the evaluation.

IPI’s evaluation of Idaho’s COE program aligns with the consortium’s project goals promised to the U.S. Department of Education. The evaluation is driven by the following core questions:

  1. How are subgrantee schools using their funds for school-site implementation?
  2. To what extent are subgrantee schools creating high-quality seats for new students, as measured by school performance?
  3. How do students and parents perceive the quality of their school vis-a-vis their prior school experience?
  4. What are school and staff perceptions of the successes, improvements and challenges at subgrantee schools?

These questions were addressed using:

  • Financial data received from Bluum (the non-profit organization that serves as a fiscal agent for the grant)
  • Standardized test data from the Idaho State Department of Education Standardized Education
  • Satisfaction and engagement survey data from the Idaho State Department of Education
  • Parent and teacher survey data from the Farkas-Duffett Research (FDR) Group.

This report provides a baseline evaluation of the first cohort of the Communities of Excellence program. $52,051.00 (100%) of this report was funded by Federal CSP Grant dollars; $0.00 (0%) of this event funded by non-governmental sources; total cost $52,051.00.


This report was prepared by Idaho Policy Institute at Boise State University and commissioned by Blumm.

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