Home > Uncategorized > Charter School Grades (2013)

Charter School Grades (2013)

November 11, 2013

A year ago, when this blog was still flying mostly under the radar, I posted the A-F grades of the state’s charter schools. This year, in the wake of Superintendent Barresi saying that she’s “embarrassed” we don’t have more charters and that she’ll “be damned” if we’re going to lose another generation of kids, It’s worth examining them again. Rather than listing grades for each, however, I’ll just show you the trends.

Charter Schools

A

6

23.1%

B

6

23.1%

C

3

11.5%

D

3

11.5%

F

6

23.1%

NA

2

7.7%

All Schools

A

354

19.8%

B

499

28.0%

C

472

26.4%

D

263

14.7%

F

163

9.1%

NA

34

1.9%

Overall, charter schools had a lower percentage of schools with an A or B and a higher percentage of schools with a D or F. With the small sample size (26 schools), it’s really not that different, statistically.

I’ve seen some commentary over the weekend about Harding Charter Prep (of which Barresi was one of the founders) getting a 107 on their report card for an A+ grade. They take pride in the fact that they will take anybody who applies. All that matters is a winning a lottery for admission. While that may be true, details about their student population say a lot about who applies.

Statistic*

Harding Charter

Oklahoma City PS

Free/Reduced Lunch %

42.2%

87.9%

Minority Student %

55.4%

79.9%

Mobility %

0.0%

12.9%

Special Ed %

4.1%

12.1%

Average # of Absences

4.1

10.4

The truth is that HCP does not serve a comparable student population to that of OKCPS as a whole. These data show the benefit of having highly engaged parents. As I did in my post last night, I have listed factors here that impact student achievement. Not having classes in which 1 in 8 students is on an IEP makes a difference. Not having to deal with a lot of absenteeism or students changing schools makes a difference. Having half the poverty level as the whole district makes a difference.

On the other hand, since Harding’s population is chosen at random, let’s get the word out to a wider swath of students. Apply. Attend. Thrive!

*Based on 2011-12 published numbers

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  1. Rob Miller
    November 11, 2013 at 8:41 am

    You were obviously burning the midnight oil compiling and analyzing all of this data. Exceptionally well done! I am saving these stats for future conversations with key decision makers. I’m naive and think that they may actually listen to data! we will see. Again, GREAT work here!

    Like

    • November 11, 2013 at 5:45 pm

      Thanks! I wouldn’t say midnight oil, but I definitely had a productive weekend. I still have a couple of posts I want to write if I have the time this week.

      Like

  2. November 11, 2013 at 9:00 am

    And didn’t she propose a 300% increase for ‘charter school incentives’ in her new budget? As Rob said, thanks for the information…will share far and wide.

    Like

    • November 11, 2013 at 5:46 pm

      You’re exactly right, Claudia. Remember, those incentives are on top of per pupil funding.

      For the cost, I’d expect all charter schools to outperform state averages.

      Like

  3. Rob miller
    November 11, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    The special Ed percentage tells the story. Nearly 70% of our students scoring below proficient are students with special needs or English language learners. Our Sped % is 15%. The FRL % at Harding is only 2% higher than my middle school in Jenks. This is clearly not reflective of the OKCPS demographic.

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  4. November 11, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    I have read that charter schools may kick a student out if they are not keeping up academically, or if their behavior doesn’t meet expectations, sending them back to their home school, even in the middle if the year. Is there any data about this kind of attrition rate? Also, I’m curious about class sizes at Harding and other charter schools, since they can limit enrollment.

    Like

    • November 13, 2013 at 1:17 am

      I can tell you the average class size at HCP is between 15-25 Students Per Class, while the average class size at HFAA is 10-20 SPC.
      As far as other charter schools go, I would be of no help to you.

      Like

  5. November 12, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    I don’t think they kick kids out if they’re doing poorly. I haven’t checked lately but the student handbook used to be online. The rules are very strict and there are a lot of responsibilities that are assigned to parents. If students don’t want to follow the rules or parents don’t want to accept their responsibilities then the students probably choose to go back to the home school. That doesn’t count as dropping out or quitting. It’s just a transfer. That’s why the charter schools don’t get dinged for dropout rates.

    Like

  6. November 13, 2013 at 1:11 am

    I am a current high-school Junior, at a charter school, and I have learned that school isn’t just a bunch of teachers being paid to teach students, who were forced to attend class, useless knowledge. I’ve learned that the school system is a complex system, almost like a machine. With the help of this Blog, and my teachers and administrators, I’ve realized that with said machine, a very simple tipping of the scale can be catastrophic. Thanks OKeducationtruths!

    Like

    • November 13, 2013 at 8:08 am

      You’re welcome! Thank you for adding your perspective.

      Like

  7. Austin Vernon
    January 18, 2015 at 11:36 am

    You should look at the data for HCP at the beginning. I was in the first graduating class and can say we were a rough bunch (we barely had enough kids to keep the lights on and there were layoffs among staff at times). Richard Caram and the staff he recruited spun yarn into gold and turned students with lots of issues and a high percent on free and reduced lunch into high performing classes. The result was affluent parents saw Harding as an alternative to paying for private school and started applying en masse. A public school so successful it was bringing affluent kids back into the district! That was not the original mission statement and is probably part of the reason why Caram retired then later took the job at the state board of education to help turn around schools with students in need. That is his real passion, I think Joy made a mistake in letting him go.
    As for Harding, shouldn’t more people be applying the lessons learned to other schools public or private? There are 4 keys listed in order of importance: 1. High expectations (accomplished at Harding with AP requirements), 2. Dedicated teachers (our teachers worked harder for less pay than their unionized colleagues, so this part is not union friendly) 3. Strong competent administation with power to hire and Fire (principal is the most important position, they lead the front lines of each classroom and when properly trained have the best vision on which teachers are effective) 4. Community/ parent involvement (clearly schools nor the state can hold themselves accountable. This one the school has the least power in encouraging but it can be done with volunteers and more effort put into engaging apathetic parents. At Harding our classes were small so we pulled together as our own support group in trying to achieve at the very high expectation levels. Again in our early years many of my classmates were the first in their family to graduate high school!!!)
    Clearly these lessons get lost in politics and ideology most of the time or trying use Hardings success against itself. At one time we won recognition nationally for schools doing the most with the least. Now that the school has attracted so many students should be evidence for more Harding’s for underserved kids rather than using the data to push other agendas.

    Austin Vernon
    HCP ’07

    Like

  1. April 17, 2014 at 7:37 am
  2. April 23, 2014 at 9:21 pm
  3. June 22, 2014 at 2:27 pm
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