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StudentsFirstNY on Spectacular Success of NYC Charter Schools

"The real news from today is the spectacular success of New York City charter schools. The evidence is in that charter schools are the most effective urban school reform in the nation. Charter schools are serving high-risk populations incredibly effectively and it's time for Mayor de Blasio to embrace what actually works for low income students," said Jenny Sedlis, Executive Director of StudentsFirstNY.
While changes to the test make it harder to draw comparisons to performance from previous years, there are a few key takeaways from what we can compare:
  • NYC charter school performance is highly significant.
    • NYC charter schools saw the largest increase in ELA in the state, rising 13.7 points.
    • Charters in both NYC and NYS increased more than district schools.
    • NYC charter schools significantly outperform the district on math exams 49% to 36% even though charters serve a higher need population than the district overall.
    • NYC charter schools significantly outperform the district in ELA 43% to 38%. 
  • High standards are starting to set in and students from all backgrounds are capable of hitting a higher academic bar.
  • Opt outs are flat and are virtually non-existent in cities, and among the low-income or the high-performing. The opt outs are largely from average income, low-performing districts. 
  • The achievement gap narrowed only very slightly proving there is much more work to be done to guarantee opportunity to children of color.
What we still don't know:
  • How certain programs, such as Renewal, PROSE, and community schools performed -- did they experience increases?
  • How individual schools and charter school networks performed -- where are the bright spots and areas for concern?
Here's a quick analysis of charter vs. district performance.
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