Charter Schools Succeed in Ohio

A report from Ohio shows that charter schools in that state outperform traditional schools in 5 out of 8 of the largest districts.  The report, published by the Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools (PDF copy), used a value-added assessment.

The Youngstown Vindicator describes one charter school in the study:

Eagle Heights uses “data-driven instruction,” she said, explaining that the school makes curricular decisions by carefully monitoring school data at least four times a year and making teaching adjustments accordingly.

The school, which has 900 children in kindergarten through the eighth grade, has a strong involvement with parents and the community and focuses on professional development, she [principal Barbara Curtis-Murphy] said.

The paper also points to the significance of value-added assessments:

OAPCS [the charter school association] feels the value-added information reflects more on the quality that goes into a school than does proficiency testing, [Bill] Sims [president and CEO of the association] said. He noted that charter schools have “taken a beating” on those tests, often because they enroll children who aren’t performing well in the traditional public school environment.

This shows progress, he said, explaining that it means the charter schools are helping their pupils advance and make gains.

“Charter school leaders appreciate the value-added tool because it provides them with a metric for expressing individual student growth,” Sims said.

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