CREDO Study Shows Texas Charters Outperform School Districts

CREDO Study Shows Texas Charters Outperform School Districts

For Immediate Release—August 2, 2017

Contact: Christine Isett,
512-584-8272, x 311 (o) or 703-220-7990 (m)

The Center for Research on Educational Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University released a report today showing that students attending Texas public charter schools gained on average an additional 17 days of learning in reading annually, as compared to their traditional district peers.

Not to be confused with additional classroom time or days of instruction, “days of learning” indicate how much academic progress a student makes within a set timeframe. For every school year, Texas charter students are gaining nearly an additional month of learning, which accelerates student preparation for more advanced coursework. This contributes to students’ success in the classroom and over time, college readiness that may result in students completing advance placement courses or college credit while still in high school.

“Public charter schools are providing Texas students with an effective education helping them accomplish real results,” said David Dunn, Executive Director of TCSA. “The CREDO study’s conclusions all point to the success of the charter sector in the state, which is further evidenced by exponential enrollment growth and the additional 141,000 students on a waiting list to attend a public charter school.”

There are 675 public charter school campuses serving nearly 273,000 students, which is five percent of the state’s public education system. Texas charter schools serve higher proportions of students who are economically disadvantaged, Hispanic, African-American, and/or have Limited English Proficiency (LEP).

These student populations are making significant gains, especially with economically disadvantaged students and Hispanic students at charters outperforming their district peers in both reading and math since the conclusion of this study. These are also the fastest growing student populations in the state. Since 2015, the Texas public school system has grown by 127,062 students. Sixty-nine percent of those new students are Hispanic and 68 percent are economically disadvantaged.

This study includes all open-enrollment public charter schools in the state, including charters under alternative education accountability (AEA). AEA charters serve some of the most vulnerable, at-risk student populations at residential treatment centers, juvenile detention centers, and dropout recovery campuses. The results achieved by Texas charter schools further show that a quality education is possible for all students, in spite of background and life circumstances.

Additionally, the results of this study confirm that SB 2 (2013) is working in closing chronically poor performing charter campuses and helping to support the replication of effective charter schools of all types. Twenty-nine charters have closed since the implementation of SB 2. TCSA supported this legislation and continues to work with charters on increasing performance through training, technical assistance, and the Quality Framework, a research-based continuous improvement tool and process designed to help public charter schools assess quality and improve academic performance.

Public charter schools are an indisputable part of the state’s public education system and continue to provide effective options for Texas families. TCSA supports evidence-based research and data to drive public policy that benefits student performance.