Charter School Students Excel Across the Board

For Immediate Release
Contact: DOE Press Office (850) 245-0413

New report compares performance of charter school students with traditional public school students

TALLAHASSEE – A new report from the Florida Department of Education shows that students who attend charter schools outpace their traditional public school counterparts on state assessments. Required by state law, the report, Student Achievement in Florida’s Charter Schools: A Comparison with Achievement in Traditional Public Schools, is a statewide analysis of student achievement in charter schools versus the achievement of comparable students in traditional public schools.

“This report clearly demonstrates that charter schools are a viable option for parents,” said Florida Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson. “Charter schools offer a wide range of educational environments to meet the needs of students and their families.”

Using data from the 2010-11 school year, the report makes 168 comparisons covering three measurements: FCAT proficiency percentages, achievement gaps, and learning gains.

Each of these measurement areas are further broken down to offer a more detailed view of student achievement.

  • The FCAT proficiency section of the report contains 54 separate comparisons of student achievement using both overall rates of proficiency by grade groupings and comparisons of subgroup performance. In 50 of the 54 comparisons, charter school students outperformed traditional public school students.
  • The achievement gap section contains both longitudinal and current data to analyze the gap between white students and African American students, and white students and Hispanic students in reading, math and science. The achievement gap was smaller for charter school students in 16 of the 18 comparisons.
  • The learning gains section of the report makes 96 comparisons of learning gains made by charter school students and traditional public school students. Charter school students had higher average learning gains in 79 of the 96 comparisons.

Charter schools are independent public schools with the autonomy and flexibility to provide expanded learning opportunities to meet students’ individual educational needs. Charter schools are overseen by a governing board while being held accountable to state standards for academic performance and financial solvency.

Student Achievement in Florida’s Charter Schools: A Comparison with Achievement in Traditional Public Schools (PDF).

For more information about Florida’s charter schools and other educational options, visit