Category Archives: Public Charter Schools

Basis Charter School Network Tops US News Best High School Rankings

The Arizona centered BASIS charter school network sweeps the top five national high school rankings in the US News & Reports Annual Ranking. BASIS charter schools have no admission requirements and openly accepts students based on a random lottery system due to the high demand for the public charter school.

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Post Katrina: Autonomous Charter Schools Prove Successful

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, instituting school choice in New Orleans has helped enliven and rebuild education and has reinforced proof of the effectiveness of charter school management. A new study provides an analytical breakdown of post-Katrina education reform and presents insight into the positive effects of school choice in a new light.

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Congratulations DSST

Colorado’s charter schools are no rookies when it comes to setting school choice standards–so it’s no surprise that the Denver School of Science and Technology (DSST) charter school network received this year’s Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools, an award given to the country’s best public charter school network.

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NAEP Scores Confirm Colorado Charter Schools are Exceptional

Once again, Colorado’s charter public schools have ranked in the top of their class and continue to set the precedent for what school choice can achieve.

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Boston Study Proves Success of Charter Schools

This study is a thorough proof of the success of charter schools when compared to traditional public schools and pilot schools, and has greatly impacted the charter school market in Boston.

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No-excuse Charter Schools have Transformed Education for Low-income Urban Students

No-excuse charter schools are undeniably doing something right. They have managed to significantly increase test scores and college graduation rates while simultaneously reducing pregnancy and incarceration rates.

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Oracle Builds 43 Million-dollar STEM Charter School

I recently took a road trip to California for the holidays. I passed through Silicon Valley, and boy was there some cool stuff to see–the most interesting thing? Well, aside from the Winchester Mystery House and people wearing scarves in 70-degree weather, I marveled at the sight of a 43 million-dollar public charter school campus being built into the side of a behemoth tech company. Oracle, a computer software company based out of California, is just finishing the construction of a new campus designated to Design Tech High School. The campus will be integrated into Oracle’s estate, placing 550 students and an enormous tech company in a shared proximity. Design Tech is a public charter school that emphasizes STEM courses and Stanford Universities’ design thinking. Now, it will act as a leading model for partnerships between technology companies and public education. Students at Design Tech will not only benefit from the brand new high-tech campus gifted by Oracle, but also from the opportunity for internships and mentoring from their neighboring organization. The price that Oracle is charging for rent? One dollar per-year. Even I could afford that with my allowance. While some are concerned that Oracle may exercise excessive power […]

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Union Wins Bragging Rights

The Douglas County School Board election results were disappointing: The union backed, anti-reform slate of candidates won with the help of a last minute, 300,000-dollar push by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). Douglas County’s unique district funded school-voucher program will likely, but not certainly, end. Pam Benigno, the director of the Education Policy Center at the Independence Institute, elaborated on the results of the election in The Denver Post, stating that: “No doubt they [the union backed slate] will end the [Choice Scholarship] program and no longer defend it through the court system. No doubt the union’s prize for winning the election will be a collective bargaining agreement and national bragging rights that they killed the nation’s first local school board voucher program.” While strong union involvement was an important factor in the election, the union backed candidates were also able to capitalize on the current political environment. The Trump/DeVos hysteria, when paired with the recent criticism of charter schools by groups such as the ACLU and NAACP, has created political turmoil that has masked the success of school choice programs across the county. These forces have created uncertainty about the legitimacy of charter schools, and reintroduced the stale […]

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Let’s Not Forget Colorado’s Successful Charter Schools

Lots of great things have been happening in school choice lately. All over the nation, research is emerging about the success of charter schools. I’ve highlighted some of these studies, specifically from New York and Florida, but it’s been awhile since we talked about charter schools in Colorado. So today, why don’t we? The newest comprehensive research done by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE), the 2016 State of Charter Schools Triennial Report, displays the success charter schools in Colorado have had in improving education for the general student population and disadvantaged groups. Contrary to the opponents of school choice who claim that charter schools are the religious right’s 21st century attempt at segregation, CDE determined that public charter schools in Colorado actually serve a greater percentage of minority students than the state average for non-charters. 46.9% of charter school students are minorities, while the state average in 45.9%. Though public charter schools in Colorado serve slightly fewer students that qualify for free or reduced lunch programs (FRPL), those that do attend charter schools show greater academic proficiency. On the 2014 state Transitional Colorado Assessment Program, charter school students that qualified for free or reduced lunch programs predominantly outperformed their […]

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Florida Charter Schools do More with Less

Boy, would I like to visit Florida. Walt Disney World, Legoland, and a flourishing assortment of innovative charter schools–what’s there that a five-year old wouldn’t love? OK, to be honest I’m more excited by the theme parks than the schools, but the growth and success of Florida’s charter schools is like Splash Mountain to my policy nerd friends over at the Independence Institute. One of the most recent testaments to the success of charter schools in Florida is the Florida Department of Education’s (FLDOE) Student Achievements in Florida’s Charter Schools report. FLDOE’s report uses 4.2 million test scores from the 2015-2016 school year to compare charter school students to traditional public-school students “in terms of grade level achievement, learning gains, and achievement gap.” In 84% of the comparisons, students in charter schools had higher grade level performances, and in 85% of comparisons the average learning gains for charter school students were higher. Florida’s charter schools are thriving; it’s no wonder their enrollment has almost tripled in the last ten years. And no, the results of this report were not fueled by charter schools filled with preppy white suburban kids. The number of charter school minority students in this study exceeded […]

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