CREDO Study: Disadvantaged and minority students receive the strongest positive benefits in urban charter schools

March 19, 2015 - The CREDO Urban Charter School Study released this week found that in many urban areas, charter school students, particularly minority, are achieving at a higher level than students at district-run schools, and there are more regions in which urban charter school students outpace their district counterparts than regions where charter students lag behind them. Many carter schools have figured out how to achieve substantially higher levels of growth with the students they serve. “It’s time districts and charter schools share best practices, and work as partners to improve our state’s overall education performance," said Robert Haag, President, FCPCS.

Charter school critics often say that charter schools only enroll high performing students and/or push out students with special needs, but according this CREDO study, "we're not seeing this skew that we have been hearing about," said CREDO Director Macke Raymond on a phone call with reporters. Here are some more highlights from the report:

  • Information provided by the 22 states in this analysis was used to create a matched student database containing 1,018,510 charter records and a matched group of comparison TPS (traditional public school or district-run school) students over the six years from the 2006/07 to the 2011/12 school year.
  • The growth of charter students is compared to the growth of matched district-run school students in the schools they would have otherwise attended.
  • Mirroring the national charter sector, disadvantaged students receive the strongest positive benefits in urban charter schools. Black and Hispanic students, students in poverty, English language learners, and students receiving special education services all see stronger growth in urban charters than their matched peers in urban district-run schools.
  • When all of the urban regions are pooled together, urban charter schools on average provide significantly greater growth in math and reading than urban district-run schools with similar students.
  • There are more regions in which urban charter school students outpace their district-run school counterparts than regions where charter students lag behind them.
  • Tampa is the only urban region where the charter sector serves at least 5 percentage points more special education students than their local district schools (27% for charter vs. 14% for district).

Read the CREDO Urban Charter School report here.

Media Contact:
Lynn Norman-Teck
Director of Communications
(305) 216-6208
Lynn@floridacharterschools.org