Los Angeles Charter Schools Outperform LAUSD

August 31, 2011

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For Immediate Release

Contact: Sierra Jenkins, CCSA
(213) 256-9489

Median Charter API Scores Are Higher Across All Grade Levels, Key Subgroups

LOS ANGELES, California.-- Taken as a group, Los Angeles charter schools outperform the Los Angeles Unified School District across all grade levels on the Academic Performance Index (API), California's primary academic accountability metric for schools. The statewide API goal for all schools is 800.

"Charter schools in Los Angeles are showing incredible academic growth," said Jed Wallace, President and CEO of the California Charter Schools Association. "They are demonstrating that charters are fulfilling the promise of reinventing public education."


The number of charter schools has grown dramatically in Los Angeles, from 10 schools in 1994 to 183 LAUSD-authorized schools serving more than 77,000 students in the 2010-11 school year.

Public School Choice Charter Schools Outperform District-Run Programs

An analysis of data from the same time period also found that all but one of the new charter schools authorized by the Los Angeles School Board during the first phase of its Public School Choice initiative outperformed similar new schools run by LAUSD. Despite that success, the Board on Tuesday voted to severely restrict the ability of charter operators from applying to run new schools in the next round of Public School Choice.

"Clearly charter schools in LA are offering the kinds of innovative successful programs that are achieving results for kids and that parents and the public want to see within our public education system," said Wallace. "The Board's decision yesterday, however, demonstrates just how hard reforming public education can be."

Click here for a table of 2011 API scores for all Public School Choice Round 1 schools.

Other highlights

  • Both LAUSD and charter schools have seen their median API scores increase in the past four years. Charters have seen bigger cumulative gains than the district over that period at the elementary and high school levels.
  • Median charter school API scores are higher than the district's for several key subgroups including: African Americans (23 point difference), Latinos (30 point difference), English Language Learners (20 point difference) and Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Students (22 point difference). See more detailed charts below.
  • The difference between district and charter performance is particularly notable for Socioeconomically Disadvantaged and Latino students in charter high schools. Students from those subgroups had median API scores that were over 100 points higher than their counterparts at non-charters. English Learners at charter middle schools also had median API scores over 100 points higher than their non-charter counterparts.
  LAUSD API Trends, 2007 - 2011

Click thumbnail to view full-size image.


About the California Charter Schools Association

The California Charter Schools Association is the membership and professional organization serving 912 charter public schools and more than 365,000 students in the state of California. The Vision of the California Charter Schools Association is to usher in a new era in public education so all students attend independent, innovative, accountable schools of choice. The Mission of the California Charter Schools Association is to influence the legislative and policy environments, leverage collective advocacy, and provide resources to support our members in developing and operating high quality, charter schools reflective of California's student population. For more information, please visit www.ccsa.org.

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