An authorizer is a public oversight entity approved by the state to authorize one or more charter schools. An authorizer’s fundamental role is to hold a school accountable for the terms of its performance contract – the “charter.” The primary purpose of Minnesota charters schools is to improve all pupil learning and all student achievement (Minn. Stat. § 124E.01, Subd. 1). Through effective oversight, authorizers hold charter schools accountable for realizing this purpose.
Minnesota authorizers may be public schools, charitable non-profit organizations or institutions of higher education approved by the state to charter schools. Authorizer responsibilities include approving, monitoring, evaluating, renewing, and, if necessary, closing charter schools when contract terms are not met.
MAPES was established to review authorizers’ performance as required by statute, and to identify high-quality authorizing practices to promote authorizer excellence in Minnesota. MAPES objectives include::
- Setting clear expectations between authorizers and MDE regarding authorizing performance.
- Ensuring authorizer accountability and the fulfillment of the authorizer application.
- Promoting high-quality charter schools and authorizer excellence.
- Promoting national principles and standards for quality charter school authorizing.
- Evaluating authorizer performance through a lens of continuous improvement.
SchoolWorks, Inc was selected as the contractor to facilitate and conduct all authorizer evaluation activities using MAPES performance measures and evaluation processes. MAPES evaluation activities concluded January, 2017. This system is just one aspect of the comprehensive relationship MDE has with charter school authorizers in the state. Final authorizer evaluation reports can be found under each authorizer's page under Authorizer Performance.
Minnesota's Approved Authorizers and Evaluation Timeline - 11/13/18
View a list of Minnesota’s approved authorizers and dates of when their performance evaluation reports will be issued.
Minnesota Charter School Authorizer Performance Measures, Indicators and Specifications - 5/25/16
Performance measures, indicators and specifications by which authorizers will be evaluated.
Authorizer Performance Ratings and Outcomes - 5/18/16
View outcomes associated with authorizer performance ratings.
Cycle of Authorizer Oversight, Evaluation, Engagement and Support - 9/30/14
Review how the Authorizer Performance Evaluation System fits into MDE’s relationship with Minnesota’s charter school authorizers.
Focus on Continuous Improvement - 9/30/14
Read how MDE is incorporating the concept of continuous improvement when evaluating authorizers.