CHARTER PUBLIC SCHOOLS OUTPERFORM SCHOOL DISTRICTS ON STATE ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS & MATH EXAMS
**More Accountability, Less Regulation Gets Higher Student Test Scores**
Charter school students continue to demonstrate their academic progress according to the results of 2008 state exams for English Language Arts and Mathematics for grades 3 through 8, released today by the State Education Department.
"With so many charters showing high academic performance, students, teachers, school leaders and trustees of charter schools deserve enormous credit for demonstrating success is possible even under the tremendous challenges surrounding them," said Bill Phillips, President of the New York Char Schools Association.
"The ELA and math results on state exams continue to show that a majority of charter schools have a higher percentage of students meeting or exceeding state performance standards than the respective school districts in which the charter schools are located," said Phillips. "That is, most charters had a higher percentage of students scoring levels 3 or 4 on each exam than their school district averages."
"The academic success of charter schools is undeniable, even from their biggest skeptics," said Phillips. "Charter opponents, sadly, will continue to paint a bleak picture, which ignores this positive state test data and denigrates the accomplishments of charter students and staff that deserve praise for their continued success."
"Phillips pointed out that the high state test scores and academic success of charters remains vulnerable to regulatory and political meddling. "Charters must continue to be allowed to operate as freely as possible from unnecessary mandates having nothing to do with academic success." He said that new mandates like the court-imposed "prevailing wage" have nothing to do with health, safety or civil rights of students, and "drive up charter school costs, shift resources away from the classroom, and put suitable facility space out-of-reach for charter schools.
Charter schools' positive results on the state exams have been accomplished even as they remain at a financial disadvantage. Phillips said charters receive only about 70 percent of what school districts spend on their students. "The funding inequity has been exacerbated by the erroneous court decision, and can be fixed by the legislature giving charter schools access to facilities funding."
"With higher state test scores from charter schools, the state bureaucracies, legislature and courts must stop their attempts to conform high-performing, innovative charter schools into conventional mediocrity and failure of so many district schools from which charter students fled," Phillips said.
Charter school test data is available on the State Education Department’s website, http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/irts/press-release/20080623/home.htm.
English Language Arts:
Of the 83 charter schools that took the ELA exam this year, 54 had a higher percentage of students meeting and exceeding the state performance standards by attaining a level 3 or 4 on the test in more grade levels than the average of the respective school districts of location. Another 11 schools had mixed results (e.g., outperforming in one grade; while underperforming in another). In addition, several charter schools markedly increased their ELA scores over time, evidencing that accountability with consequences can bring about student academic gains.
Of the 83 charter schools that took the math exam this year, 71 had a higher percentage of students meeting and exceeding the state performance standards by attaining a level 3 or 4 on the test in more grade levels than the average of the respective school districts of location. Another 4 schools had mixed results (e.g., outperforming in one grade; while underperforming in another).