Florida charter schools rack up A’s & F’s

As they have in the past, Florida charter schools earned both A and F grades at higher rates than district schools this year, according to data released Friday by the Florida Department of Education.

According to our preliminary number crunching, 38 percent of the 340 elementary, middle and K-8 charter schools that received grades earned A’s, compared to 27 percent of 2,278 district schools. Meanwhile, 7 percent of charter schools earned F’s (24 total), compared to 4 percent of district schools (83 total).

High school grades won’t be released until later this year.

Schools in both the charter and traditional sectors earned fewer A’s and more F’s this year due to tougher accountability standards.

Charter school performance is under scrutiny in Florida, as it is in many states. Florida charters have higher rates of minority students than district schools (64 percent to 57 percent), but lower rates of low-income students (47 percent to 57 percent).

Studies have come to different conclusions about their performance. DOE numbers based on 2011-12 data show charter school students outperforming their district peers by most comparisons. On the other hand, a recent study by Stanford’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes, based on 2010-11 data, shows them on par with district peers in math but seven days behind in reading.

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BY reimaginED staff