WASHINGTON - Wednesday, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools issued a study of how well charter schools are doing in 26 states. In the state by state analysis, Illinois fared decently, ranking 13 out of 26 and scoring 60 points out of a possible 116.
In the annual study, Illinois scored relatively well on the following indicators:
- Fifty-seven public charters opened in Illinois between 2009–10 and 2013–14, a 9 percent average annual open rate.
- An average of 28 percent of the state’s public charter schools reported using one of the six innovative practices that we tracked in 2011–12.
- On average, public charter school students exhibited higher academic growth when compared with traditional public school students between 2007–08 and 2010–11 (14 more days in reading and 22 more days in math).
Illinois scored relatively low on the following indicators:
- Only 3 percent of the state’s public schools were charters in 2013–14.
- Only 3 percent of the state’s public school students were charter students in 2013–14.
- Only one community in Illinois had more than 10 percent of its public school students in charters in 2012–13.
In addition to the above points, the group also offered the following observations about the movement in Illinois:
- The state’s public charter schools served a significantly higher percentage of racial and ethnic minority students when compared with traditional public schools in 2012–13 (47 percentage points more).
- Public charter schools in Illinois served a significantly higher percentage of free and reduced-price lunch students when compared with traditional public schools in 2012–13 (40 percentage points more).
- Ninety-two percent of the state’s public charters were located in nonsuburban areas in 2011–12 as compared to 63 percent of traditional public schools.
- Eight public charters closed in Illinois between 2008–09 and 2012–13, a 1.4 percent average annual closure rate.
- Ninety-three percent of the state’s public charters were startups, and 7 percent were conversions during 2012–13.
- In 2010–11, 55 percent of the public charter schools in Illinois were independently managed, 41 percent were associated with a nonprofit charter management organization, and 4 percent were associated with a for-profit educational management organization.
- In 2013–14, 11 local school boards had authorized 144 public charter schools (97 percent of the state’s total number of public charters), and the state’s independent charter board had authorized four public charter schools (3 percent).
- There were no virtual public charter schools in Illinois during 2012–13.
The group made recommendations for Illinois public charter schools' future:
There are small proportions of public charter schools and public charter school students in Illinois. Such students are achieving better reading and math student outcomes when compared with their peers in traditional public schools, although it is important to note that the most recent student academic growth data available are from 2010–11. We encourage the state to enact policies to increase the impact of such success, including lifting its caps on charter school growth and ensuring equitable operational funding and equitable access to capital funding and facilities.
The rest of the study is HERE.