Performance and growth by subject in Ohio's Big 8 charter and district schools

Continuing with our coverage of the 2010-11 report card data release, today we take a look at school performance and growth by subject and how it compares among charter and traditional district schools in Ohio's Big 8. The following charts compare the average performance of charter schools in the Big 8 to the average performance of traditional public schools. On the whole, the news for charter schools is encouraging; as a group, they outperformed traditional public schools in every state test except writing. To be sure, that comparison varies widely within each city.

Chart 1 takes a look at average proficiency rates in reading for charter and district schools. On average charter schools in the Big 8 outperformed their traditional school peers by 65 to 62 percent. Cleveland, Columbus, and Dayton in particular had a higher percentage of their charter students outperforming district students. One of the most notable results comes from Fordham's hometown of Dayton where the pass rate for charter schools is 11 percentage points higher than the district's. The lowest performance in reading can be found in Canton where only 48 percent of their charter school students are proficient in reading, 27 percentage points away from the state average of 75 percent.?

CHART 1: URBAN CHARTER SCHOOL PERFORMANCE VS. OHIO BIG 8 DISTRICT PERFORMANCE IN READING, 2010-11

Chart 2 looks at charter and district school performance in math for 2010-11. While the results in reading proficiency are somewhat encouraging the same cannot be said for math. Charter and district school performance in the Big 8 proves to be almost equal with 55 percent of charter students proficient in math compared to 53 percent of district students.

CHART 1: URBAN CHARTER SCHOOL PERFORMANCE VS. OHIO BIG 8 DISTRICT PERFORMANCE IN MATH, 2010-11

Along with reading and math state tests, students also take science and writing tests. The performance on the state science test for charter and district students is far from where they need to be. On average, charters outperformed district students by 39 to 41 percent. Keeping in mind that the state proficiency goal is 75 percent, Ohio's Big 8 charter and district schools have a long way to go. Traditional schools in Cincinnati take the top spot with 50 percent of their students proficient in science. On the contrary, performance in writing is considerably better. On average, the pass rate for charter schools is 76 percent and the pass rate for district schools is 81 percent- both above the state goal. Performance in Cleveland for charters and districts is identical with 76 percent proficient, where 81 percent of students in Canton are proficient, compared to only 54 percent for charter schools.

Chart 3: Urban Charter Schools and Ohio 8 District Schools Making Expected or Above Expected Growth in Reading, 2010-11

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Chart 4: Urban Charter Schools and Ohio 8 District Schools Making Expected or Above Expected Growth in Math, 2010-11

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Charts 3 and 4 look at the percent of charter and district schools in the Ohio Big 8 making expected or above expected growth in reading and math. The charts show that about the same percent of charter and district schools made expected or above expected growth in both reading and math. Canton's results stand out due to the fact that there are only 2 charter schools in Canton, making a charter school who received below expected growth more influential on the average than other cities.

To check more detailed information about charter and district schools in Ohio's Big 8, check out our detailed city by city analyses. See here for a recap of all our analyses and blogs thus far.

-Analyses by Dana Brinson, Daniela Doyle, and Tom Koester

-Bianca Speranza

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