Measuring Up



Arkansas

Not scored

See a summary of the state’s charter law.

See additional observations about charters in the state.

What is the state of charter schools in Arkansas?

GROWTH INDICATORS

 

 

Score


1. Public school share
 (2014–15)

N/A

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

Number

Percentage

 

Public charter schools

45

4%

 

 


2. Public school student share
 (2014–15)

N/A

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

Number

Percentage

 

Public charter school students

19,179

4%

 

 

3. Students by race and ethnicity (2013–14)

N/A

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Charters

Traditional

Difference

White

49%

64%

-15%

Black

39%

20%

19%

Hispanic

8%

12%

-4%

Asian

2%

1%

1%

Other

2%

3%

-1%

Total minority

51%

36%

15%

 

4. Students in special populations (2013-14)

N/A

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Charters

Traditional

Difference

Free and reduced-price lunch status (2011–12)

59%

61%

-2%

Special education status

N/A

N/A

N/A

English learner status

N/A

N/A

N/A

Total special student populations

59%

61%

-2%

 

5. Schools by geographic distribution (2012–13)

N/A

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Charters

Traditional

Difference

City

42%

21%

21%

Suburb

20%

11%

9%

Town

22%

22%

0%

Rural

16%

46%

-30%

Total nonsuburban

79%

89%

-10%

 

6. Communities with more than 10 percent of students in public charter schools (2014–15)

N/A

weight = 1 | Possible total = 4

 

 

 

Number of communities with more than 10 percent of students in public charter schools

2

   
 

7. New public charter schools opened over the past five years  (2010–15)

N/A

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 

 

 

2010–11

4

Average Annual Open Rate

12.0%

2011–12

4

2012–13

4

2013–14

9

2014–15

6

Total number

27

 

 

 

8. Public charter schools closed over the past five years (2009–14)

N/A

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 

 

 

2008–09

3

Average Annual Closure Rate

5.6%

2009–10

3

2010–11

3

2011–12

2

2012–13

0

Total number

11

 

 

 
 

INNOVATION INDICATORS

 

 

Score

9. Percentage of charter schools with an identified special focus (2012–13)

N/A

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

 

 

 

No Excuses

18%

Total

64%

STEM

26%

Arts

15%

Classical

0%

Purposely diverse

0%

Single sex

0%

International/Foreign language

0%

Montessori/Waldorf

0%

Dropout/Expulsion recovery

3%

Military

0%

Vocational training

3%

Public policy/Citizenship

0%

 

QUALITY INDICATORS

 

 

Score

10. Additional days of learning in reading (2007–11)

N/A

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 

 

 

Number of additional days of learning in reading

-22

 

 

 

11. Additional days of learning in math (2007–11)

N/A

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 

 

 

Number of additional days of learning in math

-22

 

 

 

12. Percentage point change in top categories in state accountability system (2012–14)

N/A

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 2012-13

2013-14

Difference

5 stars

 

 

4 stars

 

 

Total

 

 

 

13. Percentage point change in bottom categories in state accountability system (2012–14)

N/A

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 2012-13

2013-14

Difference

2 stars

 

 

1 stars

 

 

Total

 

 

 

Items Reported But Not Scored

Startups versus conversions (2014–15)

 

Startups

Conversions

 

 

Percentage of a state’s public charter schools

58%

42%

 

 

 

Charter authorizers (2014–15)

 

Number of authorizers

Number of charter schools

Average number of charters per authorizer

Percentage of the state’s public charters authorized by this type of authorizer

Local education agency

State education agency

1

45

45

100%

Independent charter board

Noneducational government entity

Higher education institution

Nonprofit

 

Virtual public charter schools and students (2012–13)

Number of virtual public charter school students

1,334

 

 

Percentage of a state’s public charter school student population enrolled
in virtual charter schools

8%

 

 

Number of virtual public charter schools

1

 

 

Percentage of a state’s public charter schools that are virtual charter schools

3%

 

 

 

Health of the Movement Summary

Arkansas enacted its charter school law in 1995. In our most recent rankings of state charter school laws, it ranked #29 out of 43. While the state law has a cap on charter school growth, it is structured in a way that allows ample growth. Although the state law provides adequate accountability provisions, it includes only a single authorizing path and provides inadequate autonomy and inequitable funding to charters.

A state’s charter public school movement had to meet three conditions to be scored and ranked in this year’s report. First, the movement had to serve at least 2 percent of the state’s public school students. Second, the state had to participate in CREDO’s National Charter School Study 2013 so that we had a measure of student academic growth data for its charter public schools in comparison with its traditional public schools. Third, the state had to have a state accountability system in place that categorized all public schools on the basis of performance in 2012-13 and 2013-14. Arkansas’ movement did not meet at least one of these conditions, so we did not score and rank it in this year’s report.

However, below we provide the data we were able to gather. Based on this information, we offer the following observations:

  • In 2014-15, 4 percent of the state’s public schools were charters.
  • In 2014-15, 4 percent of the state’s public school students were charter students.
  • In 2013-14, the state’s charter public schools served a higher percentage of racial and ethnic minority students (15 percentage points more) when compared with traditional public schools.
  • In 2013-14, the state’s charter public schools served a lower percentage of free and reduced-price lunch students (2 percentage points less) when compared with traditional public schools.
  • In 2012-13, 80 percent of the state’s public charters were located in nonsuburban areas as compared with 89 percent of traditional public schools.
  • During 2014-15, only two communities in the state had more than 10 percent of their public school students in charters.
  • Between 2009-10 and 2013-14, 27 charter public schools opened in Arkansas, a 12 percent average annual open rate.
  • Between 2009-10 and 2013-14, 11 charter public schools closed in Arkansas, a 5.6 percent average annual closure rate.
  • In 2012-13, 64 percent of the state’s charter public schools were special-focus schools.
  • Between 2007-08 and 2010-11, charter public school students exhibited lower academic growth (22 fewer days in reading and 22 fewer days in math), on average, when compared with traditional public school students.
  • In 2014-15, 58 percent of the state’s charter public schools were start-ups and 42 percent were conversions.
  • In 2014-15, Arkansas allowed only its state department of education to serve as an authorizer, so 100 percent of the state’s 45 schools were authorized by the state department of education that year.
  • In 2013-14, one full-time virtual charter public school operated in Arkansas, educating 1,334 students (8 percent of the state’s charter public school population).