Independent studies from Harvard, Stanford, and MIT show that Massachusetts’ public charter schools are some of the best public schools in the Commonwealth – and are closing the achievement gap for the state’s highest-need children.
In Boston, the average yearly academic growth for charter school students was more than four times that of their traditional school peers in reading. In math, the academic growth was more than six times greater.
Students who are both low-income and black… or who are both Hispanic and English Language Learners, especially benefit from charter schools. Gains for these subpopulations amount to months of additional learning per year.
CENTER FOR RESEARCH ON EDUCATION OUTCOMES
Students with the most severe needs – special education students who spent the majority of their time in substantially separate classrooms and ELLs with beginning English proficiency at the time of the lottery–perform significantly better in charters than in traditional public schools.
MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
You may have heard some misinformation about what public charter schools are, who they serve, and how they’re funded. Here are the facts:
Charter schools are public schools open to any child, free of charge. If more children want to enroll in a school than it has space for, a random lottery determines who gets in—there are no admission hurdles, no entrance exams, and no tuition.
Public charter schools do no harm to school districts. Education funding is assigned to a student, not to a school. So when a student opts for a public charter school, the money to educate that student simply follows her from one public school to another, exactly how it would if she moved from one district school to another. Additionally, school districts are given additional state aid whenever a student moves to a public charter school.
Charter public schools are under the same state and federal obligations to provide services to special needs children and English Language Learners as other public schools, and indeed take on a similar percentage of such students.
For more information about public charter schools in Massachusetts, and to read independent studies from leading research institutions like Harvard, MIT, Stanford, and the Boston Foundation, visit www.charterfactsma.org.
“Whether created by parents and teachers or community and civic leaders, charter schools serve as incubators of innovation in neighborhoods across our country…. Charter schools choose to locate in communities with few high-quality educational options, making them an important partner in widening the circle of opportunity for students who need it most.”
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
“For a state that prides itself on being the originator of great public education… the fact that we have 37,000 kids on a waiting list to get into the school of their dreams here in the Commonwealth is a disgrace. We have an opportunity, a great opportunity, to do something about that.”
GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS
“Districts that want charters should be given the chance to pursue them, or any other option that they may deem necessary, in order to do right by their students.”
MASSACHUSETTS SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE
“Thirty-seven thousand of our children in this Commonwealth are put on hold. That’s not acceptable. It’s not fair. It’s not morally right. We need to make sure that every single child has access to the best education, not the second best.”
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS
“You have to observe a good charter school in action to appreciate the revolutionary nature of what often sounds like an academic concept… It’s time to stop viewing innovative approaches as anomalies or threats to traditional public schools and begin seeing them as part of the future of public education.”
US SECRETARY OF STATE
“It is crucial that all families in the Commonwealth have the opportunity to choose the best option for their child, whether that is a traditional public school or a public charter school. And I’m proud to lead the way to fair school choices… as a supporter of Question 2.”
US REPRESENTATIVE, MA 8TH DISTRICT