Measuring Up



Massachusetts

TOTAL SCORE:
82 out of 132

Rank: out of 18

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 Massachusetts?

GROWTH INDICATORS

 

 

Score


1. Public school share
 (2014–15)

3

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

Number

Percentage

 

Public charter schools

78

4%

 

 


2. Public school student share
 (2014–15)

3

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

Number

Percentage

 

Public charter school students

37,402

4%

 

 

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

4

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Charters

Traditional

Difference

White

35%

66%

-31%

Black

29%

8%

21%

Hispanic

27%

17%

10%

Asian

5%

6%

-1%

Other

4%

3%

1%

Total minority

65%

34%

31%

 

4. Students in special populations (2013–14)

6

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Charters

Traditional

Difference

Free and reduced-price lunch status

54%

38%

16%

Special education status

N/A

N/A

N/A

English learner status

N/A

N/A

N/A

Total special student populations

54%

38%

16%

 

5. Schools by geographic distribution (2012–13)

4

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Charters

Traditional

Difference

City

49%

17%

32%

Suburb

47%

70%

-23%

Town

0%

2%

-2%

Rural

4%

11%

-7%

Total nonsuburban

53%

30%

23%

 

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

1

weight = 1 | Possible total = 4

 

 

 

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

1

   
 

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

6

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 

 

 

2010–11

2

Average Annual Open Rate

6.9%

2011–12

9

2012–13

7

2013–14

6

2014–15

3

Total number

27

 

 

 

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

9

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 

 

 

2009–10

1

Average Annual Closure Rate

2.5%

2010–11

0

2011–12

1

2012–13

2

2013–14

6

Total number

10

 

 

 
 

INNOVATION INDICATORS

 

 

Score

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

4

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

 

 

 

No Excuses

13%

Total

44%

STEM

9%

Arts

5%

Classical

1%

Purposely diverse

1%

Single sex

0%

International/Foreign language

3%

Montessori/Waldorf

12%

Dropout/Expulsion recovery

4%

Military

0%

Vocational training

1%

Public policy/Citizenship

0%

 

QUALITY INDICATORS

 

 

Score

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

12

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 

 

 

Number of additional days of learning in reading

36

 

 

 

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

12

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 

 

 

Number of additional days of learning in math

65

 

 

 

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

6

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 2012-13

2013-14

Difference

1

59

44

-15

2

31

48

17

Total

90

92

2

 

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

12

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 2012-13

2013-14

Difference

4

0

0

0

5

0

0

0

Total

0

0

0

 

Items Reported But Not Scored

Startups versus conversions (2014–15)

 

Startups

Conversions

 

 

Percentage of a state’s public charter schools

95%

5%

 

 

 

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

78

78

100%

Independent charter board

Noneducational government entity

Higher education institution

Nonprofit

 

Virtual public charter schools and students (2013–14)

Number of virtual public charter school students

0

 

 

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

0%

 

 

Number of virtual public charter schools

0

 

 

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

0%

 

 

 

Health of the Movement Summary

Massachusetts’ charter public school movement ranked #4 out of 18, scoring 82 points out of 132.

Massachusetts scored relatively well on the following indicators:

  • In 2013-14, charter public schools in Massachusetts served a higher percentage of free and reduced-price lunch students (16 percentage points more) when compared with traditional public schools.
  • Between 2009-10 and 2013-14, 10 charter public schools closed in the state, a 2.5 percent average annual closure rate.
  • In 2012-13, 44 percent of the state’s charter public schools were special-focus schools.
  • Between 2007-08 and 2010-11, charter public school students exhibited higher academic growth (36 more days in reading and 65 more days in math), on average, when compared with traditional public school students.
  • In 2012-13 and 2013-14, no charter public school performed in the bottom two categories of the state’s accountability system.

Massachusetts scored relatively low on the following indicators:

  • In 2014-15, only 4 percent of the state’s public schools were charters.
  • In 2014-15, only 4 percent of the state’s public school students were charter students.
  • During 2014-15, only one community had more than 10 percent of its public school students in charters.

In addition to the above points, we also offer the following observations about the movement in Massachusetts:

  • In 2013-14, the state’s charter public schools served a significantly higher percentage of racial and ethnic minority students (31 percentage points more) when compared with traditional public schools.
  • In 2012-13, 53 percent of the state’s public charters were located in nonsuburban areas as compared with 38 percent of traditional public schools.
  • Between 2010-11 and 2014-15, 27 public charters opened in the state, a 6.9 percent average annual open rate.
  • Between 2012-13 and 2013-14, the percentage of charter public schools performing in the top two categories of the state’s accountability system increased by 2 percentage points (from 90 percent to 92 percent).
  • During 2014-15, 95 percent of the state’s public charters were start-ups and 5 percent were conversions.
  • The only authorizer in Massachusetts is the state board of education. As of 2014-15, the state board of education had authorized 78 public charters.
  • During 2013-14, no full-time virtual charter public schools operated in Massachusetts.

concluding thoughts

  • Massachusetts has a relatively good charter law, but it still needs improvements such as lifting its many restrictions on charter school growth and providing more equitable funding and facilities support to charters.
  • In Massachusetts, charter public schools serve a higher percentage of racial and ethnic minority students and free and reduced-price lunch students than traditional public schools, showing that charters are serving those students who most need a better public school option.
  • Massachusetts also has a relatively high percentage of special-focus schools, showing that charters are providing a diverse array of options for students and educators.
  • Massachusetts’ charter school movement has achieved relatively strong results, as especially demonstrated in CREDO’s National Charter School Study 2013 and the state’s accountability system.