How are those charter schools doing?
University Academy charter school in Kansas City
Charter schools seem to be all the rage today—among policy wonks, politicians like Mayor Francis Slay and libertarian think tanks. Unfortunately, here in St. Louis the results have not been encouraging for African-American parents.
Here are the 10 schools that had the lowest percentage of black students scoring proficient or advanced (+growth) on the communications portion of the 2008 MAP. The number of students is the number of black students reportable, which I included to show size.
|# students||Prof/Adv + Growth|
IMAGINE REN ACAD ENV SCI & MA
IMAGINE ACADEMY ES AND MATH
B. BANNEKER ACADEMY
URBAN COM. LEADERSHIP ACADEMY
IMAGINE ACAD. ACADEMIC SUCCESS
IMAGINE ACADEMY OF CAREERS
GENESIS SCHOOL INC.
CONSTRUCTION CAREERS CENTER
HOGAN PREPARATORY ACADEMY
DON BOSCO EDUCATION CTR.
What do all 10 schools have in common? They are all charter schools and all test below Wellston, a St. Louis County district which lost accreditation (24.4). They also test well below the SLPS at 31.4.
To be fair, there are some successful charter schools. Academie Lafayette in Kansas City boasts the third highest rate in the state at 66.3. It’s a French Immersion school. Another charter that is doing well is University Academy, a college prep charter school in Kansas City (49.7).
Confluence Academies in St. Louis came in at 38.4, St. Louis Charter School at 35.2, Paideia at 27.4 and Lift for Life at 26.9. The county schools ranged from upper 30s to 50 with Fox at a much higher 71.4, tied for highest in the state. (Worthy of further research!)
While I like the concept of charter schools, I think some tightening up of supervision needs to happen in order to get state funds.