Response to San Mateo County News "Study Proves Charter Schools Are No Silver Bullet"

May 28, 2014

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Read CCSA's response to the San Mateo County News story "Study Proves Charter Schools Are No Silver Bullet."

Several recent research reports, including CREDO's, illustrate that California charter schools are delivering strong academic performance results in particular for historically disadvantaged students. In fact, CREDO has consistently documented such findings as also highlighted in their 2009 study on California charters.

The most recent CREDO research found that California charters are delivering strong results for students in poverty (almost 3 weeks more learning in reading and 1.5 months in math); African American students in poverty (+7 weeks in reading and +2 months in math); Hispanic students in poverty (+3.5 weeks in reading, 1.5 months in math); and English learners (+7 weeks in reading and +2.5 months in math).

Perhaps most encouraging is that charter schools are improving each year. CREDO found that by 2010-11, on average California charters were delivering almost a month of extra learning in English Language Arts, while generating slightly accelerated learning in math. And the longer students are enrolled in charters, the stronger the gains.

Moreover, CREDO's California study did not incorporate achievement data from the last two years. Our own research, which aligns very tightly with CREDO's findings, shows that charter schools have continued to strengthen statewide between 2011-2013. We look forward to CREDO issuing further analyses taking into account all of the most recent data available about the performance of California charter schools.

For more information on how charter schools are helping students (particularly those from historically disadvantaged backgrounds) access college at an accelerated pace, you can also read How Los Angeles Charter Schools Answer the College Readiness Challenge, Renewing the Promise: How Charter Middle and High Schools Are Putting Oakland Students on the Path to College, and Broken Promises: The Children Left Behind in Silicon Valley Schools.

Elizabeth Robitaille, Ed.D.
Senior Vice President, Achievement and Performance Management
California Charter Schools Association