Approximately 70 Percent of Arizona Public Charter Schools Earn an ‘A’ or ‘B’ Grade from the State Department of Education
By: Arizona Charter Schools Association
More than 2 out of 3 public charter schools in Arizona that received a letter grade has earned an “A” or “B,” according to a preliminary set of new scores for 2018-19 released by the Arizona Department of Education, at the direction of the State Board of Education. The results include the academic performance of traditional, hybrid and alternative charter schools and district schools.
“These letter grades are the latest proof that Arizona public charter schools are raising academic achievement for students from all backgrounds – particularly those from low-income and under-served communities,” said Arizona Charter Schools Association President and CEO Jake Logan. “These results are a testament not only to the hard work of our teachers, administrators and students, but also to the hundreds of thousands of Arizona families who’ve embraced and promoted parental choice in education over the last 25 years. Their support has allowed public charter schools to grow, thrive, innovate and offer more high-quality education options to families across our state.”
Charter alternative schools, included in the report for the first time since 2014, also performed well. Nearly 65 percent of charter alternative schools that received a letter grade earned an “A” or “B” grade. Alternative schools are defined as schools whose sole and clearly-stated mission is to serve specific populations of at-risk students.
In 2011, the State of Arizona instituted an “A-F” school rating system in order to give parents and families an easy-to-understand guide about the relative performance of public schools across the state. Most of an individual school’s grade is based on the relative performance of its students on the AzMERIT assessment, though other factors (absenteeism rates, graduation rates and the proportion of students who become proficient in English as a second language) also plays a factor.
These A-F school grades are the latest evidence of excelling academic performance on the part of Arizona charter schools.
AzMERIT scores released last month showed public charter students outperformed by 9 percentage points the state average among students who took the English/Language Arts portion of the test. In terms of Mathematics, charter students exceeded the state average by 6 percentage points. Charter students of every race and ethnicity, as well as low-income, Limited English Proficiency and Special Education subgroup, scored better than the statewide average of their peers on AzMERIT.
“Letter grades and standardized test scores aren’t the only measure of a quality school, but they’re powerful evidence of the learning and achievement occurring in charter-school classrooms across Arizona,” Logan added. “It’s important that approximately 70 percent of Arizona charter schools have earned an ‘A’ or ‘B’ grade, and equally of note that any failing charter schools must quickly improve performance or have their doors closed.”
Final school letter grades are due to be released on Dec. 13, 2019. You can find more information here.