Charter Schools Education Industry Texas

Texas: The Poor Performance of Charter Schools

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William J. Gumbert has studied the performance of charter schools in the state, compared to public schools. He has consistently found that charter schools are lower-performing than public schools by every measure. And yet the Republicans who control the state insist on opening more low-performing charters and diverting money from the public schools attended by the vast majority of students. Texas first authorized charter schools in 1995 and has spent more than $30 billion to operate them. Gumbert says that the charters first promised to improve student test scores; having failed that goal, they now exist to turn public schools over to private corporations. I urge you to open the PDF file that is attached. It is mind-boggling!

He wrote the following message to me:

While a 12-minute read, I have condensed the primary findings into the 30-second summary below that demonstrates charters in Texas are performing BELOW the average Texas public school.


Due to unique challenges and circumstances, At-Risk students have the widest achievement gap as 44% fewer At-Risk students meet grade-level standards.  In this regard, charters enroll a lower percentage of At-Risk students than the average Texas public school and charters enroll 18% fewer At-Risk students than the primary school districts targeted for enrollment. 


A review of the academic performance of student populations reveals that charters have FEWER Non-At Risk, At-Risk (Non-ELL), Special Education, and All students meeting grade-level standards than the average Texas public school.  In particular, charters have 10% FEWER Non-At Risk students meeting grade-level standards than the average Texas public school.


27 of the 56 charters with over 1,000 students have FEWER Non-At Risk students and FEWER At-Risk students meeting grade-level standards than the average Texas public school.


“A” rated charters obviously represent the highest-performing charters.  Not surprisingly, such charters have a Non-At Risk student population that is higher than the state average at 62%.  That said, at “A” rated charters, 4% FEWER Non-At Risk students meet grade-level standards than the average Texas public scho


To paraphrase legendary coach John Wooden:  “Below average means you are closer to the bottom than the top.” As always, should any questions arise, additional information is preferred, or I can be of any assistance, please let me know.  I hope this is helpful!

Read the pdf here.

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