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Charter public schools are part of a winning educational equation.

WHAT ARE CHARTER PUBLIC SCHOOLS?

Charter public schools, authorized by the Education Reform Act of 1993, are an important part of the Massachusetts public school system. Since the fall of 1995, the Massachusetts charter public school sector has grown from an initial cohort of 15 schools to over 74 programmatically diverse schools across the state.

CHARTER PUBLIC SCHOOLS HAVE GREATER AUTONOMY

Schools operate under five-year “charters” granted by the Commonwealth’s Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. Charter public schools have greater flexibility in how they approach key areas of school life, including:

Curriculum Design

Staffing

Teacher Leadership

Professional Development

School Culture

The best public education systems support all kids in reaching their full potential, and charter public schools are part of the formula that has given Massachusetts the top-performing public school system in the country.

In Massachusetts, charter public schools strive to deliver on their commitment to every student by focusing on:

  • Teachers and Classrooms
  • Results on Behalf of Kids
  • The Unique Learning Needs of Children
  • Equity

WHERE ARE CHARTER PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN MASSACHUSETTS?

  • Students 43,000 +
  • Teachers 2,800 +
  • Schools 74
  • Urban 38
  • Boston 16
  • Suburban 14
  • Rural 6
+43,000Students16Boston38Urban14Suburban6Rural+Teachers2,80074Schools

charter public schools serve a diverse student population

Students of Color
Economically Disadvantaged
First Language
Not English
Students with Disabilities

*Student population data come from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s School and District Profiles. Data from 74 Commonwealth charter public schools are compared to district data across the state.

charter public schools are held to the highest standards

  • Assessed for renewal every 5 years by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
  • Managed by public boards of trustees and subject to annual financial audits
  • Governed by the same laws and rules as district public schools
  • Highly selective process with only 95 schools approved since 1994

CHARTER PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE POSITIVELY IMPACTING STUDENTS AND FAMILIES

economically disadvantaged
41%
32%
Math
44%
38%
ELA
ENGLISH LEARNERS
24%
17%
Math
23%
16%
ELA
Students with Disabilities
18%
18%
Math
21%
22%
ELA
AFRICAN AMERICAN
40%
29%
Math
45%
38%
ELA
LATINX
45%
30%
Math
48%
37%
ELA

Students are meeting grade-level expectations on MCAS*

*This figure shows the percent of students in each group who scored in the top two categories on the 2018 MCAS tests. Data come from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education School and District Profiles and are based on a comparison between 70 Commonwealth charter public schools and district public schools from across the state.

College Enrollment*

84% Charters
72% District

College Persistence**

64% Charters
55% District

*This figure shows the percent of 2018 high school graduates who enrolled in a post-secondary institution by March of 2019. Data come from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education School and District profiles and are based on a comparison between 34 Commonwealth charter public high schools and district public schools across the state.

**This figure shows the percent of students from the 2015 High School Graduation Cohort who graduated high school, matriculated into college and re-enrolled for a second year. Data come from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’ District Analysis Review Tool and are based on a comparison between 30 Commonwealth charter public high schools and district public schools from across the state.

Children in Massachusetts charter schools gained an additional one and half months of learning in reading and an additional two and half months in math, compared to similar students in district schools.

Boston charter public schools provided a typical student with 12 months of additional learning per year in reading and 13 months of additional learning per year in math.

*Based on Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes studies; data compares Massachusetts charter public school students to district students from the same demographic backgrounds and charter public schools to the district schools the students formerly attended.

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