School Choice & Charters

Achievement Gap Growing in Minnesota Charter Schools, Analysis Finds

By Arianna Prothero — February 17, 2015 1 min read

An analysis by the Minnesota Star Tribune has found that many of the state’s charter schools are not meeting the academic bar set for them.

Minnesota is often credited with being the birthplace of the independently run but publicly funded schools.

The Star Tribune review of school performance data found that, similar to traditional district schools, the highest performing charters generally served wealthier families.

More details on the Star Tribune’s investigation:

The analysis of 128 of the state's 157 charter schools show that the gulf between the academic success of its white and minority students widened at nearly two-thirds of those schools last year. Slightly more than half of charter schools students were proficient in reading, dramatically worse than traditional public schools, where 72 percent were proficient. "Between 2011 and 2014, 20 charter schools failed every year to meet the state's expectations for academic growth each year, signaling that some of Minnesota's most vulnerable students had stagnated academically."

However, the Star Tribune also notes that some charter schools are bucking the trend. Specifically, it says charter schools “dominate” the list of high-performing schools serving needy populations recognized annually by the paper.

How to address poorly performing charter schools is creating some division among the state’s advocates. You can read how the various groups want to tackle the issue in the full Star Tribune article here.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Charters & Choice blog.