Florida’s charter school students continue to outperform traditional public school students, according to a report from the Florida Department of Education.
The report shows students who attend charter schools exceed their traditional public school counterparts in math, science, and reading on state assessments. Required by state law, the report, “Student Achievement in Florida's Charter Schools: A Comparison of the Performance of Charter School Students with Traditional Public School Students,” is a statewide analysis of student achievement in charter schools versus comparable students in traditional public schools.
"We can all agree that great schools are the key to strong communities," said Florida Commissioner of Education Dr. Tony Bennett. "That's why it's so encouraging to see Florida's commitment to high-quality charter schools paying off. Thank you to our educators for their hard work to better prepare Florida's students."
The data contained in the report is derived from student performance on the Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test and Algebra end-of-course exams from the 2011-12 school year, based on more than three million test scores. The report makes 177 comparisons covering three measurements: proficiency, achievement gaps, and learning gains.
Each of these measurement areas are broken down further to offer a more detailed view of student achievement.
The FCAT proficiency section of the report contains 63 separate comparisons of student achievement using both overall rates of proficiency by grade groupings and comparisons of subgroup performance. In 55 of the 63 comparisons, charter school students outperformed traditional public school students, with one tie.
The achievement gap section contains data to analyze the gap between white students and African-American students, and white students and Hispanic students, in reading, math, and science. The achievement gap was smaller for charter school students in all 18 comparisons.
The learning gains section of the report includes 96 comparisons of learning gains made by charter school students and traditional public school students. Charter school students had higher average learning gains in 83 of the 96 comparisons.
Charter schools are independent public schools with the autonomy and flexibility to provide expanded-learning opportunities to meet students' individual educational needs. Charter schools are overseen by a governing board while being held accountable to state standards for academic performance and financial solvency.
During the 2011-12 school year, 518 charter schools operated throughout the state in 43 school districts and at two state universities. Charter schools served more than 183,000 students during the year, more than 7 percent of Florida’s total public school population.
For more information about Florida's charter schools and other educational options, visit www.floridaschoolchoice.org