Saturday, February 25, 2012

Another Report, Another Set of Mixed Results for Charters

Charters Near Top—and Bottom—of California Rankings

This from State EdWatch:

California charter schools are more likely than non-charters to be among the states' top performers—but also more likely to be among the laggards—a new report concludes.

The second annual "Portrait of the Movement," released by the California Charter Schools Association on Thursday, offers a mixed picture of the sector's standing, compared with traditional public schools. But the association also sees a number of bright spots, including the relatively strong performance of charters in serving students from poor backgrounds.

The association represents 982 charter schools across the state. It ranks schools on an accountability measure that assesses school performance while filtering out non-school factors affecting student achievement through a statistical method known as regression-based predictive modeling.

Using this method, the association attempts to examine whether schools are performing significantly above or below their predicted performance.

The report finds a "U-shaped" distribution for charter schools, meaning they were more likely both to exceed their predicted performance compared with non-charters, based on student background, and—to a lesser extent—under-perform. It concludes that 14.7 percent of charters were in the top 5 percent of California schools, well above the 4 percent of non-charters in that category. But 12.7 percent of charters showed up in the bottom 5 percent of performance, compared to just 4.2 percent of non-charters...

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