Washington's public charter schools are already making a difference for students, with mid-year testing results show rapid gains for students across multiple schools in both reading and math and that many students previously performing behind national averages are now on track to meet grade-level standards. Nationwide, 15 of 16 independent studies found that students attending public charter schools perform better academically than their peers at traditional public schools.
More than two-thirds of Washington’s public charter school students qualify for free or reduced-price school meals. More than 70 percent of students in Washington’s public charter schools are people of color, who have historically been underserved by our state. The vast majority of students attending Washington public charter schools struggled in their previous schools, with many students entering public charter schools a year or more behind in math and reading.
The results are already showing great gains for charter students across Washington. At Spokane International Academy there have been rapid reading gains and more than 60 percent are on track to meet the year-end reading goal, up from 2 percent.
At Excel Public Charter School in Kent students are on track to make 1.5 years of growth in reading this school year. In Tacoma, Destiny middle school has seen nearly two years of growth in reading levels in less than three months. And at Summit Sierra in Seattle high school students have advanced one and a quarter years growth in math and one year of growth in reading in less than four months. These results show how big an impact charter schools can have on Washington students in a very short time.