SER Appeals Process

  • The appeals process is designed to uncover factual errors through re-examination of evidence/documentation. The appeals process is entirely separate from the School Effectiveness Review (SER) process. It is not intended as a means to resolve differences of opinions between the school and the district/SER reviewers. Further, submission of an Appeals Request Form does not guarantee that an appeal will be granted.

    Ratings are assigned based on the extent to which the SER team finds multiple types and multiple sources of evidence, AND the extent to which the SER team finds evidence of high levels of adoption and/or implementation. Once the principal and/or charter operator decides to contest any part of the SER report, s/he must submit a completed Appeals Request Form to the manager of the SER Team. Schools may appeal up to four ratings in a report. All evidence submitted to contribute to forming the basis of the appeal must have taken place on or before the original SER visit. Evidence obtained after the original site visit may not be included. Finally, additional evidence submitted as part of the appeal will be taken into consideration with respect to its alignment to the key action and the evidence collected on-site. If it is determined that the criteria are not met, the appeal will be denied by the Director of Research and/or the Chief Achievement and Accountability Officer. The Appeals Process only applies to SERs conducted in the current school year and cannot be applied retroactively. All SER reports and their ratings prior to the 2017-18 school year may not be appealed.

    Appeals process timeline 

    1. The principal and/or charter operator must submit the electronic Appeals Request Formword  and supporting documents via email to the SER Team Manager within 10 business days of receipt of the draft report.
    2. The Appeals Request and Supporting Documents will be reviewed by the SER team within 10 business days after the receipt of the Appeals Request Form and supporting documentation. SER members who were not on the visit will conduct a full review and evaluate all relevant documents (including new documents provided by the school, as well as previously collected documents, focus group notes and completed classroom visit tools from the site visit).
    3. The SER Reviewer will submit a recommendation based on the review to the Director of Research and/or the Chief Achievement and Accountability Officer. The Director of Research and/or the Chief Achievement and Accountability Officer will determine if the appeal will be granted and will make the final decision within 5 business days.
    4. Once a decision has been finalized and the appeals process is complete, a written response will be emailed to the principal and/or operator along with the final SER Report within 25 business days after receipt of the Appeals Request Form and all supporting documents.
    5. The Instructional Leadership Executive Director for either Elementary or Secondary (depending on the school) will be copied on the final correspondence to the principal. For charter and operator-led schools, the Executive Director for the Office of New Initiatives (ONI) will be copied on the final correspondence. 

    Guidance and direction for the appeals process  

    Schools interested in submitting an appeals request must submit the appeals request formword and all documentation electronically to the Manager of School Effectiveness Review ( and must adhere to the following appeal request guidelines and directions.

    • Appeal request forms and additional supporting evidence must be completed and submitted electronically in their entirety within 10 days of receipt of their DRAFT SER report; incomplete appeal requests will not be processed. Specifically, a completed Appeal Request must cite the specific indicator(s) and Key Actions being appealed.
    • The number of Key Actions being appealed cannot exceed three, and the draft ratings must be either Developing or Not Effective. Schools must also identify the current rating for the Key Actions in question, found in the draft SER report and include the proposed rating change.
    • Schools cannot appeal ratings for Key Action 1.2 and 1.5 in the Highly Effective Instruction domain. The ratings for these Key Actions cannot be appealed because the ratings are based on the singular source of the data, classroom observations. Classroom observations are used to gather evidence for the rating, and the rating for these Key Actions can only be observed by the site visit team while at the school.
    • There is a 20-page limit for all additional evidence and documents submitted, with a maximum of five pages per Key Action in support of a ratings change.