Los Angeles charter schools outperform neighboring schools with similar demographics “on a variety of student achievement measures,” concludes a report by the California Charter Schools Association. Most LA charters also are improving at a faster rate than comparable district-run schools.
Charter middle schools were very effective, reports the LA Times. In addition, black students did better in charters than in the nearby schools they’d otherwise attend. Hispanic students did about the same in elementary school but better in charter middle and high schools.
“It’s pretty significant that seven out of 10 charters actually outperform their most similarly matched district public school,” said Caprice Young, chief executive of the charter schools association, citing one finding in the report. She said the study was intended to answer the question parents are most likely to ask: How does their local charter school stack up against the nearest comparable regular schools?
“Mature” charters operating for six or more years did significantly better than newer charter schools.
Critics say charter schools should be compared to magnet schools, which also are schools of choice, rather than schools that draw from the same neighborhoods.