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TCSA Response to CREDO Study

07.22.15
TCSA Response to CREDO Study

CREDO Study Shows Charter Improvement

The Center for Research on Educational Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University released a report today that shows the Texas charter movement has closed the gap in reading and continues to make strides in math.

Texas public charter schools serve more economically disadvantaged, more English language learners and more minority students than traditional public schools, according to the TEA. Also, more than 20 percent of public charters are alternative education accountability (AEA), serving students in residential treatment centers, juvenile detention facilities and dropout recovery schools.

The CREDO report confirms the hard work from 2009 to 2013 of all Texas charter schools, which operate on about $1,000 less per-student funding than traditional public schools.

Texas charter schools acknowledge the need for even more improvement, especially those with the mission of serving the students most in need of educational support. Which is why the Texas Charter Schools Association (TCSA) has developed the first-in-the-nation Quality Framework, a research-based continuous improvement tool and process designed to help public charter schools assess quality and improve academic performance. TCSA also served more than 1,000 charter leaders, board members and educators in the past year through in-person and online trainings and its annual conference. TCSA staff and its member schools are proud of their work with students in need and committed to accelerating student achievement by addressing any areas of weakness.

The CREDO report highlights three major accomplishments of Texas charter schools:

  • The gap in performance in reading between public charter school students and traditional public school students has been completely eliminated.
  • ELL students in charter schools outperform their traditional public school peers.
  • Students in poverty in charter schools outperform their traditional public school peers.

The CREDO report also highlights three areas of improvement needed in Texas charter schools:

  • The gap in performance in math has significantly improved since 2009, but must be eliminated.
  • Black and Hispanic students in charter schools perform below their traditional public school peers.
  • The expansion of high performing charter schools and the closure of consistently poor performing charter schools should be accelerated.

TCSA continues to call on CREDO to disaggregate the data and separate AEA schools from standard accountability charter schools. Including AEA student performance in the report skews the data, making it difficult to isolate the areas of need. A separate report would result in better policy decisions and a clear comparison between student performance in AEA schools, standard charter schools and traditional public schools. 

TCSA welcomes another CREDO study that includes the effects of Senate Bill 2, which in 2013 implemented strict accountability measurements with failure to achieve tied to school closure. Due to the new state law, 19 charters have been closed  ̶  six have been officially revoked and another 13 have received revocation notices to close at the end of the 2014-15 school year. The association continues to support Senate Bill 2 as it seeks to replicate high quality public charter schools and close charters that chronically fail to meet the needs of students.