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State report cards show: Ohio Charter Schools Outperform Their Local School Counterparts

A recent report by the Ohio Alliance of Public Charter Schools found that when matched up to individual schools, a greater percentage of charter schools receive high grades on value-added scores than in their district school counterparts in the state’s eight biggest cities. The report rebuts an earlier study put out by the Fordham Institute, which claims that charter schools are being outperformed by traditional public schools in the state’s eight largest school districts – Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo and Youngstown, also know as the “Big 8”.

By weighting each Big 8 school’s score by the number of students and comparing both their Performance Index (PI) and value-added achievement to charter schools statewide, the Alliance came away with a more accurate picture of how charter schools perform in comparison to their traditional public school counterparts. Excluding schools that the state does not subject to the same rules for performance such as statewide online-only schools, charter schools with high special needs populations and dropout recovery schools, the Alliance shows that more charter school students performed above the weighted average of 80.3 than in the Big 8 schools (59 percent versus 48 percent respectively). In addition to outgaining the Big 8 school districts in PI, Ohio charter schools also had a larger percentage of schools receiving high grades on value-added.

By excluding the charters that aren’t held to the same performance rules, the Alliance makes a more accurate comparison of charter schools to other traditional schools in the Big 8 districts and concludes that more charters are performing at or above their local school counterparts.