Charter school students start out behind but make faster progress than students in traditional public schools, according to a study by the Goldwater Institute.
Findings indicate that charter school students, on average, began with lower test scores than their traditional public school counterparts, and showed overall annual achievement growth roughly three points higher than their non-charter peers. Charter school students who completed the twelfth grade surpassed traditional public school students on SAT-9 reading tests.
However, achievement growth varies by grade level. In the elementary grades, charter school students exhibited faster achievement growth than traditional public school students. Achievement growth in the middle grades was similar for both kinds of students, while high school achievement growth was higher for traditional public school students. One reason for this is that elementary charters are more likely to focus on academics, while middle and high school charters generally serve students who want vocational training, have been out of school, have learning or behavioral problems, or those who have been in the juvenile justice system.
Via Reform K12.