Getting better all the time

Getting better all the time
Students in California’s charter schools are improving test scores at a faster rate than non-charters, according to a new study. (Here’s the pdf file.) Charter scores remain lower because schools often enroll disadvantaged students and those who’ve done poorly at other schools, reports the Los Angeles Times.

For example, in 2001 the average API (Academic Performance Index) test score was 612 for charter high schools and 635 for traditional high schools. But the charter high schools boosted their scores by 37 points on average from 1999 to 2001, compared with 18 points for traditional campuses.

The comparative gains for charter elementary school students were minimal, according to the report. In 2001, the average API test score was 676 for charter elementary schools and 691 for traditional campuses. The rate of improvement from 1999 to 2001 was 60 for charter schools, compared with 58 for traditional campuses.

Charters looked even better when “directly compared with public schools in their districts with similar populations.”

Charters operate with less funding and more uncredentialed teachers than traditional public schools.

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