Press Release: Los Angeles Charter Schools Outperforming Traditional Public Schools

April 17, 2018

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

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Steven Baratte
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Los Angeles Charter Schools Outperforming Traditional Public Schools

National Assessment Shows California Charter Schools Outperforming District Schools

(Los Angeles, CA) - Results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), known as the Nation's Report Card, show that Los Angeles charter public schools are performing better than non-charter schools locally and nationally according to a review by the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA). Data from the most recently administered tests in 2015 and 2017, show Los Angeles charter schools scored 10 points or higher on 4th grade and 8th grade math and reading in 2015 and 8th grade math and reading in 2017. There were not enough 4th grade charter school test takers in 2017 to make an accurate comparison.

"Last week's NAEP results across the country showed largely flat results, with the state of California showing some degree of progress in reading. However, the sample of Los Angeles charter schools that took the NAEP tests demonstrated very strong scores," said Elizabeth Robitaille, Senior Vice President, School Performance, Accountability and Research, CCSA. "In fact, in 2015 and 2017, Los Angeles charter schools were on par with the state of Massachusetts, which is the highest scoring state in the nation. This is particularly impressive given that Los Angeles charter schools are achieving these results while serving a much larger proportion of socioeconomically disadvantaged students than in Massachusetts." *

The Nation's Report Card, first administered in 1969, is the largest continuing and nationally representative assessment of what our nation's students know and can do in subjects such as mathematics, reading, science, and writing. Standard administration practices are implemented to provide a common measure of student achievement. The 2017 administration of the national exams marks NAEP's official transition from a paper-based assessment to a digitally based assessment.

"While traditional public schools in Los Angeles made slight gains from 2015 to 2017, charter schools had a higher percentage of students proficient in math and reading," added Robitaille. "All schools need to make additional progress, but charter schools had proficiency rates that were double and triple those of traditional public schools, again on par or nearing those of Massachusetts."

A detailed breakdown of the scores in Los Angeles, California, and nationally are included below.

Math and Reading Scale Scores
NAEP scale score results show Los Angeles charter schools outperforming traditional district schools in the state and across the nation. California's charter schools are outperforming their traditional school counterparts, offering further insights into the stunning differences in proficiencies charter schools are achieving for their students. Proficiency in the NAEP standards are determined by students' scale score results, which are calculated based on students' responses to a series of computer adaptive reading and mathematics questions. Each grade and subject has its own Proficiency level. For example, in 4th grade, students with a scale score of 249 or above are considered Proficient in Math.

Scale Scores for Los Angeles

Scale Scores for California

Math and Reading Proficiency
In addition to scale scores, NAEP also looks at the percentage of students meeting proficiency in math and reading. For the 2015 and 2017 tests, a higher percentage of Los Angeles charter school students were proficient and above in math and reading than the national average. California charter schools also have higher percentage rates than traditional public schools.

Los Angeles Proficiency Rates

California Proficiency Rates

*While we do not have the demographics of test-takers, below are demographics of Massachusetts statewide K-12 students and Los Angeles K-12 charter students for the 2014-15 school year.

About the California Charter Schools Association
The California Charter Schools Association's vision is to increase student learning by growing the number of families choosing high quality charter public schools so that no child is denied the right to a great public education. Our mission is to ensure a million students attend charter public schools by 2022, with charter public schools outperforming non-charter public schools on every measure. We do this by serving as the advocacy organization that builds the policy environment needed to grow as quickly as possible the number of students attending high quality charter public schools. For more information, please visit our website at