NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Charter School Results

February 8, 2000

Avoiding the bureaucracy of the education establishment and following a back-to-basics approach, many of the 1,700 charter schools operating nationwide are achieving their fundamental objective: raising student performance.

Here are just a few examples:

  • In their first full year of operation, the for-profit Advantage Schools raised student test scores at its two schools in Massachusetts -- with kindergartners scoring in the 96th and 93rd percentiles on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, and first graders at one school improving their language skills from the 43rd to the 81st percentile.
  • Students at Advantage's Rocky Mount Charter School in North Carolina scored high on the state's writing assessment test -- with more than 60 percent of students scoring in the test's highest category compared with 36 percent of students statewide.
  • At San Antonio's New Frontiers Charter School, kindergartners scored in the 94th percentile in their first year.
  • At the Abby Kelly Foster Regional Charter School in Worcester, Mass., students are learning Latin -- which has made them more proficient in written and spoken English.

Charter advocates draw attention to the difference between their operations and public schools. Charters are usually smaller in size, seek parental involvement, are innovative, offer safe facilities with minimal tax dollars and offer longer school days and school years than their public counterparts.

Source: Don Soifer (Lexington Institute), "The Charter School 'Advantage,'" Investor's Business Daily, February 8, 2000.


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