Public charter schools are judged by their results: whether or not students are achieving academically and being well prepared for success in college and beyond. Charter schools align to the same New York state standards, and take the same state exams, as other public schools. If a charter school isn’t helping students achieve, it can be closed.
New York State entered the 2013-14 school year—the second year of the Common Core era—with a pointed awareness of the challenges revealed by the 2012-13 test scores. Gains made in Math are particularly notable—over nine percentage points in proficiency (the largest gain for any group or sector)—and underscored by data showing that 15 of the 20 highest gainers among New York States’ high-poverty schools were charters (most located in NYC).
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a new School Renewal Program to improve 94 of the city’s most struggling schools. The program includes practices that are hallmarks of top charter schools, but a comparison of Renewal School plans to charter school practices reveals consistent differences in urgency and intensity. As NYC DOE continues to define, implement and strengthen this high- stakes program, as well as prepare support and turnaround plans for hundreds of other schools, charter schools stand ready to share their work.
Stanford University's Center for Research on Educational Options (CREDO) has conducted a series of studies comparing the academic performance of charter and district schools. The New York City study finds that 63% of New York City charter schools show significantly larger growth in math, and 22% in reading, than students in district schools.
The 2012-13 school year marked a new era for public education in New York State, as teachers and students directed their work according to the Common Core State Standards: a new and more demanding set of academic benchmarks designed as a path to real college readiness.
Charter Center CEO James Merriman says we “should applaud the impressive scores of highly successful charters, including the Success, Icahn, Achievement First, and Uncommon Schools networks, and independent schools including South Bronx Classical Charter School and Bronx Charter School for Excellence, as well as those traditional district schools that are beating the odds. If there was ever a time to learn from our best schools, whether charter or district, it’s today.”