California charters are high (and low) scoring

California charter schools are more likely to be top — and bottom — performers in state rankings, concludes a Portrait of the Movement released by the California Charter Schools Association.

The report finds a “U-shaped” distribution for charter schools, meaning they were more likely both to exceed their predicted performance compared with non-charters, based on student background, and — to a lesser extent — under-perform. It concludes that 14.7 percent of charters were in the top 5 percent of California schools, well above the 4 percent of non-charters in that category. But 12.7 percent of charters showed up in the bottom 5 percent of performance, compared to just 4.2 percent of non-charters.

Because successful schools enroll more students, California charter students are twice as likely to attend a high-performing charter as a low-performing charter.

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  1. It should be interesting to see the spin this post attracts if it attracts any interest from the stalwart defenders of the one, the true, the only public education system.

  2. I wonder how it works with independent study charters. I belong to a large homeschooling charter school in CA, and while it has some kids who do very well on the STAR, it also has a lot of kids who are on their last struggle to graduate from HS or who have various special needs or all kinds of things. It ranks pretty low in performance, but that doesn’t matter to me because I’m the one providing instruction.

  3. Uh CarolinSF? Mike? What’s the explanation for charters being both better educationally and worse? Some not get the memo about the importance of cherry-picking kids?