Banner Year For Charter Schools
I’m not sure I would call myself a prophet. I’m sure many of my predictions don’t come true. For instance, I was sure A-Trak and Tommy Trash would win best cinematography at Sunday night’s VMAs for their amazing display of dominoes in their song “Tuna Melt.” However, when it comes to charter school performance, my forecast a year ago was spot on.
The coming year should be a banner year for charter schools throughout the state. With the closure of the Imagine schools and the steady improvement of existing charter schools, I expect to see significant gains in overall charter performance in 2013.
For the first time in Missouri, the performance of charter schools surpassed the performance of the nearby school districts in math and language arts. As you can see from the graphs below, charter schools continue to show steady improvement in both subjects.
This steady improvement should not come as a shock for two reasons.
1. We have known for years that Missouri charter schools are producing significantly larger learning gains than the urban districts. Just a couple months ago, the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University released a report indicating that students in Missouri charter schools learn approximately three weeks more material in reading and an extra month’s worth of material in math than their counterparts in the surrounding district schools.
2. Not only are Missouri charter schools producing larger learning gains, the bad charter schools are closing. That is the beauty of charter schools — when a school doesn’t perform, it closes.
This was a banner year for charter schools in Missouri. No predictions for next year, but I certainly hope the progress will continue.
Percent of Students Scoring Proficient or Advanced: English Language Arts
Percent of Students Scoring Proficient or Advanced: Mathematics
(These graphs were completed using student achievement data at the district level from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).)