I wrote two days ago about how black students in Atlanta’s charter schools are notably outperforming their counterparts in that city’s traditional public schools (TPS). Today, we look at another city where charters shine, and this one is going to be a surprise to many because it is located in a state that has not gotten a great reputation for charter school performance over the years.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results from late winter 2017 testing provide some dramatic evidence about how black charter school students in the Cleveland, Ohio school system compare to blacks attending the TPS in that city. This table, which shows data extracted from the NAEP Data Explorer, tells the tale, and it is impressive.
Very simply, just like Atlanta, charter school blacks in Cleveland surpassed their TPS counterparts in every NAEP area shown, and by a statistically significant amount, as well.
To review, it’s especially hard for charter schools in NAEP-tested school districts to post statistically significant differences because the NAEP’s sampling errors get pretty big when a racial subgroup’s performance is examined. It takes a rather large score difference to be statistically significant.
But, aside from being statistically significantly different, the score differences in the table above are quite large for the NAEP.
Furthermore, as we discussed in an earlier blog this week, comparisons using the NAEP are always somewhat biased against the true charter school picture because the NAEP results include all students. That includes first-year students who have probably not spent enough time in their new charter school to realize full benefits. So, the already dramatic story for charters told by the table above actually understates the real capability of charters to excel for students.
So, as with Atlanta, it is clear that even in Ohio, a state where charter school performance has been problematic, that black charter school students in Cleveland are never-the-less producing notably.
And, it is clearly time for Kentucky to join the charter school parade, too. Our children, especially the minority kids who are currently chronically under-served in the state’s TPS, deserve more choices about where they can go to school.