TEXAS CHARTERS, CHOICE AND PERFORMANCE
November 5, 2007
According to the most recent study by the Texas Center for Education Research (TCER), standard open-enrollment charters are improving and the latest test scores suggest strong gains. Overall, in 2005-2006, students at standard charters had a significantly higher increase in performance than their peers in traditional public schools.
- Open-enrollment charter students out-performed traditional public school students in grades 6 through 9 in reading/ELA (English Language Arts) and mathematics.
- Traditional public school students with high 2005 math and science scores on the TAKS did earn higher math and science scores in 2006 than comparable high-performing charter school students; however,
- Charter school students with low 2005 TAKS math scores earned higher 2006 TAKS math scores than comparable public school students.
- There was not a significant difference in reading scores, and standard charter campuses had lower 2005 graduation rates (56 percent) than standard traditional campuses (84 percent).
To earn an Academically Acceptable rating, in 2005 the Texas accountability system required schools to have a passing rate of at least 50 percent for reading/ELA, writing and social studies, 35 percent for mathematics and 35 percent for science. According to TCER, students in charters rated under the accountability system for alternative education campuses generally fare better than their public school peers.
- In reading/ELA, students at alternative charter campuses performed above traditional alternative education students in grades 8 through 10.
- In math, students at alternative charter campuses performed above traditional alternative education students in grades 5 and 7 through 10.
- In 2005, 89 percent of charter AECs received Academically Acceptable ratings compared to 95 percent of traditional AECs.
- But, in 2005, charter AECs had slightly higher graduation rates than traditional AECs (37 percent versus 34 percent).
Source: Danielle Georgiou, "Texas Charters, Choice and Performance," Brief Analysis No. 601, National Center for Policy Analysis, November 5, 2007.
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