More than half of the top-performing schools serving low-income students in California are charters, according to an Education Trust-West analysis.
Seven charters were among the top 10 schools based on eighth-grade student math scores. Five of 10 top schools were charters in third grade and 11th grade English language arts performance. Nine percent of schools statewide are charters.
The results will help build the charter sector’s political clout, predicts Cabinet Report, which is geared to superintendents and their staff.
Overall, 44 percent of California students met or exceeded standards in English language arts, 34 percent in math.
Achievement gaps between racial/ethnic subgroups “can’t be explained away by poverty,” concludes Ed Trust-West. “Low-income White students perform about as well as Black students who are not low income.” Low-income Asian students perform far better than Latinos and blacks from middle-income or higher families.
Education Trust-West analyzed data from schools where at least 60 percent of the students come from low-income families, notes Cabinet Report.
At the top of the list for schools finding success in English language arts instruction was America’s Finest Charter in San Diego, where 77 percent of third graders – among a school population that is 95 percent low-income – met or exceeded the standards on statewide tests.
American Indian Public Charter in Alameda, with an 81 percent low-income student population, was the top-performing school in math with 75 percent of its eighth-graders meeting or exceeding expectations.
Downtown Business High, a Los Angeles Unified magnet school, topped the list for 11th grade English scores. About 83 percent of students are low-income.
“Schools like these dispel the damaging myth that schools can do very little to help students overcome the barriers of poverty,” report writers noted.