CREDO at Stanford Releases California Statewide Charter School Study

March 20, 2014

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Today, Stanford University's Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) released a new report Charter School Performance in California. The California report provides an in-depth examination of the results for charter schools in California. It is also an update to CREDO's first analysis of the performance of California's charter schools released in 2009, which can be found on CREDO's website.

Similar to the findings from the Charter School Performance in Los Angeles that CREDO released on Saturday March 15th, 2014, we are once again encouraged that independent research confirms our own findings - California's charter schools are performing well, especially with historically underserved students, and are improving over time.

Promising results for low income students are playing out across the state, with charter schools generating extra weeks and months of learning for African-American, Latino, EL and special education students. Perhaps most encouraging are the trends over time across California.

  • Charter schools are outperforming traditional public schools in English Language Arts and are improving every year in math.
  • In 2011, charters are generating almost a month of extra learning in English Language Arts while generating slightly faster learning in math.
  • On average, charter students in California gain an additional 14 days of learning in reading over their district school peers, but lag behind their district school peers by 14 days of learning in math.
  • The new results for charter students represent an increase of 7 days of learning compared to the 2009 CA results in both reading and math.
  • Students attending charter schools affiliated with a Charter Management Organization have better learning gains than district school peers in both reading and math. The positive impact is equivalent to about 36 additional days of learning in reading and 28 more days in math.
  • For this analysis, a total of 393,492 charter school students from 994 charter schools are followed for as many years as data are available.

We regret that the statewide study did not incorporate achievement data from the last two years because our own research, which aligns very tightly with CREDO's findings, shows that charter schools have continued to strengthen statewide over the past two years. We look forward to CREDO issuing further analysis taking into account all of the most recent data available about the performance of CA charter schools.

CREDO at Stanford University is the nation's foremost independent analyst of charter school effectiveness. This report provides the first in-depth examination of the results for charter schools in Los Angeles by CREDO.

To download a copy of the report visit: