State test scores of many once high-flying charter schools in California have plummeted—even more so than those of their regular public school counterparts.
Among them is Rocketship Education, which has attracted generous high-tech funding and national attention for its success with students deemed hardest to educate, but now is grappling with some test scores no better than those of surrounding schools. At its flagship Mateo Sheedy school, once the third-highest-performing in the state among elementary schools serving low-income children, just 36 percent of students met or exceeded English standards, and 44 percent met or exceeded math standards.
One possible explanation is that the state’s new Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium tests are far more difficult, and the scores reinforce the difficulty in educating students in high-poverty areas.
A version of this article appeared in the September 23, 2015 edition of Education Week as Charter School Test Scores Take Dive in California