School Choice & Charters Report Roundup

Scores Found to Rise Faster in Los Angeles Charters

By Lesli A. Maxwell — June 17, 2008 2 min read

“Charter School Performance in Los Angeles Unified School District: A District and Neighborhood Matched Comparison Analysis”

Charter schools in Los Angeles are generally producing stronger academic growth than traditional public schools in the city, according to a report released last week by a charter school advocacy organization.

In its analysis, the California Charter School Association compared one year of growth in state test scores in each Los Angeles charter school with that in three regular public schools run by the Los Angeles Unified School District. The comparison schools were located within a five-mile radius of the charters and shared similar racial and socioeconomic demographics. In several cases, the traditional schools had much larger enrollments, especially at the high school level.

The association’s study found that 62.8 percent of charters in the district demonstrated more growth in state test scores between 2006 and 2007 than their three most similarly matched regular schools. It also found that charters outperformed traditional schools in the middle grades and were better at educating African-American students at all grade levels.

Charters didn’t always have the edge, according to the study. While they did somewhat better at educating other disadvantaged groups such as Latinos, low-income children, and English-language learners in the middle and high school grades, regular Los Angeles Unified schools produced stronger results at the elementary level for those same disadvantaged groups.

The association used only one year’s worth of academic growth data as a way to keep the analysis a simple one that parents and other members of the public could understand.

“A multiyear analysis is much more complex,” said Aisha N. Toney, a senior data analyst for the charter school association and the report’s lead author.

Mature charters—those that have been operating at least six years and have gone through California’s charter-renewal process—are turning out significantly more robust academic performance than their younger peers, a finding that advocates said points to the need to refrain from judging newer charters too harshly.

Los Angeles is now home to more charters than any other city, with 125 of the independent public schools serving roughly 40,000 students. Los Angeles Unified has 708,000 students and is the second-largest school district in the nation.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the June 18, 2008 edition of Education Week


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Classroom Technology Webinar
Educator-Driven EdTech Design: Help Shape the Future of Classroom Technology
Join us for a collaborative workshop where you will get a live demo of GoGuardian Teacher, including seamless new integrations with Google Classroom, and participate in an interactive design exercise building a feature based on
Content provided by GoGuardian
School & District Management Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: What Did We Learn About Schooling Models This Year?
After a year of living with the pandemic, what schooling models might we turn to as we look ahead to improve the student learning experience? Could year-round schooling be one of them? What about online
School & District Management Webinar What's Ahead for Hybrid Learning: Putting Best Practices in Motion
It’s safe to say hybrid learning—a mix of in-person and remote instruction that evolved quickly during the pandemic—is probably here to stay in K-12 education to some extent. That is the case even though increasing

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Choice & Charters COVID-19 May Energize Push for School Choice in States. Where That Leads Is Unclear
The pandemic is driving legislators' interest in mechanisms like education savings accounts, but the growth may not be straightforward.
8 min read
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds delivers her Condition of the State address before a joint session of the Iowa Legislature on Jan. 12 at the statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds delivers her Condition of the State address to state lawmakers on Jan. 12. She's pushing a major school choice expansion.
Bryon Houlgrave/The Des Moines Register via AP
School Choice & Charters Letter to the Editor Are NOLA Charters a Mixed Bag?
To the Editor:
The opinion essay by Douglas N. Harris about how New Orleans’ education reforms post-Katrina are relevant to the COVID-19 era (“As Schools Recover After COVID-19, Look to New Orleans,” Sept. 30, 2020) highlights some basic improvements in the NOLA system but downplays the most significant aspects of those changes: the impact on people of color.
1 min read
School Choice & Charters Home Schooling Is Way Up With COVID-19. Will It Last?
The shift could have lasting effects on both public schools and the home-schooling movement.
School Choice & Charters Opinion Challenging 3 Common Critiques of School Choice
A new volume from Corey DeAngelis and Neal McCluskey challenges some of the familiar but suspect assertions that pepper public debates about school choice.
3 min read