Back in 2009, the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) research group at Stanford University caused a huge stir with their report that claimed only a small proportion of charter school students were outperforming their traditional public school counterparts. That was then.
CREDO recently released an updated report, “National Charter School Study 2013,” and some of the findings concerning the same states that were examined in the 2009 study are quite revealing.
In particular, the new report points out that more charter school students are in poverty today than in 2009, so statistics about low income student performance in charters is particularly important.
Here is what CREDO’s new report says about that:
• “In 2009, charter students in poverty had about seven days of additional learning in reading compared to TPS students in poverty. Charter students in poverty in 2013 continue to have an advantage over their TPS counterparts. The difference in 2013 is 14 additional days of learning. Both continuing and new schools have statistically significant and positive reading impacts for charter students in poverty.” (Page 36)
• “Compared to the learning gains of TPS students in poverty, charter students in poverty learn significantly more in math…. Moreover, this difference in performance has widened. In 2009, charter students in poverty had about seven additional days of learning in math than their TPS peers, while in 2013 the advantage is 22 additional days of learning for charter students in poverty.” (Page 37)
So, for this key group of students, charter schools are doing a better job today than they did just four years ago.
According to the new Kentucky State Report Card information for the 2012-2013 Academic Year, a combined total of 56.6 percent of Kentucky’s students were eligible for either the free or the reduced cost school lunch program. Clearly, Kentucky has a very large group of students that could benefit from the kind of performance CREDO found with poor students in charter schools.
So, why do some Kentucky adults keep blocking this obviously needed school alternative for students? How does continuing to deny charter operations help Kentucky’s kids?