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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

CREDO: Some charters are achievement 'gap busters'

Black, Hispanic and low-income students gain the most in reading and math compared to similar students at district schools, concludes a national study by Stanford's CREDO.

Photo: Rocketship Public Schools

In fact, some charter networks are achievement "gap busters." That means achievement exceeds the state average, and disadvantaged students improve as much or more than their non-disadvantaged classmates.

Among the superstar charters are Success Academy, Icahn, Achievement First, Classical Charter Schools, Uncommon Schools, Noble, IDEA and KIPP.

There are 32 gap-busting networks in California, including 22 that excel in both math and reading, reports John Fensterwald on EdSource.

For example, when compared with similar students in district schools, students in Los Angeles-based Alliance College-Ready Public Schools gained the equivalent of 107 days in additional learning, about 40% of a year. Students in Bay Area-based Rocketship Public Schools gained three-quarters of a year in additional learning days in math, based on CREDO’s methodology.

Other California gap-busters are ACE Charter Schools in San Jose, Para Los Niños in Los Angeles, and King-Chavez Neighborhood of Schools in San Diego.

Critics charge that "charter schools weed out poor-performing students or discourage low-performing students from enrolling," writes Fensterwald. "CREDO said if there were cherry-picking, then charter school students would show higher academic performance when they enroll." To the contrary, charter enrollees are lower achieving than their former classmates, but improve over time, the analysis found.

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