FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Seth Coleman
September 1, 2010 email@example.com
Charter Schools Performing Well in Georgia, According to 2010 CRCT/AYP Data
Higher percentage of charters make AYP in Atlanta, Clayton, DeKalb and Fulton;
6th and 7th graders at Ivy Prep post higher meet/exceed rates than Gwinnett County on CRCT;
CCAT students score well on GHSGT compared to high schools in Bulloch and Candler County
ATLANTA – Charter schools in Georgia are performing extremely well in comparison to traditional public schools, according to an analysis of 2010 Annual Yearly Progress (AYP), Criterion Referenced Competency Test (CRCT) and Georgia High School Graduation Test (GHSGT) data by the Georgia Charter Schools Association (GCSA).
The analysis indicates:
- A higher percentage of charter schools than traditional schools made AYP in four of the metro area’s largest school districts – Atlanta, Clayton, DeKalb and Fulton.
- Statewide, a higher percentage of charter middle and high schools made AYP, while the percentage of charter elementary schools making AYP was statistically the same as the traditional public schools.
- A higher percentage of charter schools serving low-income communities in Georgia made AYP than traditional public schools serving the same student population.
- Sixth and seventh graders at Ivy Preparatory Charter Academy, the target of a lawsuit by the Atlanta, and DeKalb and Gwinnett County school districts as well as four others, outperformed students in those districts in nearly every subject on the CRCT.
- In three of the four subjects on the GHSGT, high school students at the Charter Conservatory for Liberal Arts and Technology (CCAT) ranked first or second, among the five high schools in Bulloch and Candler Counties, on the percentage of students who passed those subjects among the five high schools in Bulloch and Candler Counties. Both counties and five other districts are also suing CCAT.
Percentage of charters making AYP higher in Atlanta, Clayton, DeKalb and Fulton
In Atlanta, seven of the district’s nine charter schools (78%) made AYP compared to 64% of the district’s traditional public schools. In Clayton, all four of the district’s charter schools (100%) made AYP compared to 74% of traditional schools. The same holds true for the DeKalb (78% to 56%) and Fulton (82% to 73%) County school districts.
In Cobb County, 83% of the district’s charter schools (five of six) made AYP, which is just off of the district’s 85%.
Outside of metro Atlanta, in the five districts with three or more charter schools, two – Dougherty (67% to 58%) and Muscogee (75% to 57%) – had a higher percentage of charter schools than traditional public schools make AYP. The traditional public schools in Chatham (63% to 50%) and Hall (85% to 83%) Counties made AYP at a higher rate than charter schools, while the percentage was the same (75%) for charters and traditional public schools in Morgan County.
More charter high and middle schools statewide make AYP
Of the 19 charter middle schools in Georgia, 84% (16) made AYP compared to 67% of traditional public schools, and of the 24 charter high schools, 40% (nine) made AYP compared to 33% of the state’s traditional high schools.
The percentage (84%) of the state’s 50 charter elementary schools making AYP (42) is nearly the same as the percentage of traditional public elementary schools (85%).
(NOTE: The totals do not include Career Academies, which are not held accountable for AYP, schools with too few students to report, or schools that have AYP results pending investigation.)
Higher percentage of charters serving poor communities make AYP
Following a trend reflected in data nationwide, charters appear to be doing a better job educating the state’s poor students.
Of the 69 charter schools in Georgia classified as Title I schools – those with at least 35% of its students qualifying for free or reduced price breakfast and lunch – 75% (52) made AYP, while 68% (979 of 1450) of traditional Title I schools made AYP.
“Everyone realizes that test scores alone are not the sole measure of effectiveness of a school or a school system,” said Tony Roberts, Ph. D., chief executive officer of the GCSA. “But this data clearly indicates that charter schools in Georgia are indeed providing quality public school choice options for families across the state.”
Ivy Prep and CCAT outperforming districts suing them
Additionally, the two charter schools being sued by seven school districts – Ivy Preparatory Academy, an all-girls middle/high school (sixth and seventh grade, currently) in Norcross and Charter Conservatory for Liberal Arts and Technology (CCAT), a middle/high school in Statesboro – are outperforming, in most instances, the suing districts.
The Atlanta and Griffin-Spalding city districts, along with the Bulloch, Candler, DeKalb and Henry and Gwinnett County districts are seeking to close Ivy Prep and CCAT by having their authorizer, the Georgia Charter Schools Commission, an independent charter authorizer, declared unconstitutional.
(NOTE: After being rebuffed in Fulton County Superior Court, the suing districts have appealed the ruling to the State Supreme Court. A hearing is likely to be scheduled for October.)
The percentages of sixth and seventh grade students at Ivy Prep met or exceeded the state standard in every subject area except one (seventh grade science) on the CRCT, at a higher rate than the Atlanta, DeKalb and Gwinnett County school districts, the districts from which the school draws most of its students. In fact, every sixth and seventh grade student (100%) at Ivy Prep met or exceeded the state standard in the subjects of reading and English/language arts.
Out of the five high schools in Bulloch and Candler Counties, where CCAT draws its students, CCAT ranked first or second in three of the four subject areas covered on the GHSGT, including English/language arts, where every student (100%) passed.
“The outstanding performance of Ivy Prep and CCAT makes it abundantly clear that the lawsuit by the seven school districts is not about what’s best for students,” Roberts said. “The districts’ desire to maintain its monopolistic control over the educational choices and the money of the parents and students they purport to serve is an insult to students and their parents. Why in the world would anyone want to shutter schools that are producing such great results in student achievement?”
# # #
ABOUT THE GCSA
The Georgia Charter Schools Association is the nonprofit membership organization for Georgia’s charter school operators and petitioners, established in 2001. The mission of the GCSA is to be an effective advocate and service provider for all charter public schools in Georgia by:
- Advancing awareness of charter schools and their mission.
- Increasing awareness that charter schools are public schools.
- Communicating charter school needs to state and local officials.
- Supporting legislation to strengthen charter schools in Georgia.
- Facilitating opportunities for networking/collaboration among charter schools in Georgia and nationwide.
- Developing and implementing programs and services that advance student achievement, accountability and success in all of Georgia’s charter schools.