Measuring Up



Massachusetts

TOTAL SCORE:
73 out of 116

Rank: 6 out of 26

See a summary of the state’s charter law.

See additional observations about charters in the state and recommendations to support the growth of high-quality charter schools.

What is the state of charter schools in Massachusetts?

GROWTH INDICATORS

 

 

Score


1. Public school share
 (2013–14)

3

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

Number

Percentage

 

Public charter schools

81

4%

 

 


2. Public school student share
 (2013–14)

3

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

Number

Percentage

 

Public charter school students

33,214

3%

 

 

3. Students by race and ethnicity (2012–13)

4

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Charters

Traditional

Difference

White

38%

67%

-29%

Black

28%

8%

20%

Hispanic

26%

16%

10%

Asian

5%

6%

-1%

Other

3%

3%

0%

Total minority

62%

33%

29%

 

4. Students in special populations (2012–13)

8

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Charters

Traditional

Difference

Free and reduced-price lunch status

53%

37%

16%

Special education status

7%

8%

-1%

English learner status

13%

16%

-3%

Total special student populations

73%

61%

12%

 

5. Schools by geographic distribution (2011–12)

4

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Charters

Traditional

Difference

City

54%

21%

33%

Suburb

35%

63%

-28%

Town

1%

3%

-2%

Rural

9%

13%

-4%

Total nonsuburban

65%

37%

28%

 

6. Communities with more than 10 percent of students in public charter schools (2012–13)

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  (2009–14)

6

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 

 

 

2009–10

2

Average Annual Open Rate

7.3%

2010–11

2

2011–12

9

2012–13

7

2013–14

6

Total number

26

 

 

 

 

8. Public charter schools closed over the past five years (2008–13)

6

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 

 

 

2008–09

1

Average Annual Closure Rate

1.5%

2009–10

1

2010–11

0

2011–12

1

2012–13

2

Total number

5

 

 

 

 
 

INNOVATION INDICATORS

 

 

Score

9. Public charter schools reporting use of various innovative practices (2011–12)

6

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

 

 

 

Extended day (30 minutes or more each day compared to traditional public schools)

62

Average

31%

Extended year (10 or more days compared to traditional public schools)

43

Year-round calendar

5

Independent study

33

School-to-work

10

Higher education courses

33

 
 

QUALITY INDICATORS

 

 

Score

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

16

weight = 4 | Possible total = 16

 

 

 

Number of additional days of learning in reading

36

 

 

 

 

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

16

weight = 4 | Possible total = 16

 

 

 

Number of additional days of learning in math

65

 

 

 

Items Reported But Not Scored

Startups versus conversions (2012–13)

 

Startups

Conversions

 

 

Percentage of a state’s public charter schools

92%

8%

 

 

 

Public charter schools that are independent, associated with a CMO, or associated with an EMO (2010–11)

 

Number

Percentage

 

 

Independent

59

94%

 

 

Charter management organization

2

3%

 

 

Education management organization

2

3%

 

 

 

Charter authorizers (2013–14)

 

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

81

81

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

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’ public charter school movement ranked #6 out of 26, scoring 73 points out of 116.

Massachusetts scored relatively well on the following indicators:

  • Public charter schools in Massachusetts served a higher percentage of special population students when compared with traditional public schools in 2012–13 (12 percentage points more).
  • An average of 31 percent of the state’s public charter schools reported using one of the six innovative practices that we tracked in 2011–12.
  • On average, public charter school students exhibited higher academic growth when compared with traditional public school students between 2007–08 and 2010–11 (36 more days in reading and 65 more days in math).

Massachusetts scored relatively low on the following indicators:

  • Only 4 percent of the state’s public schools were charters in 2013–14.
  • Only 3 percent of the state’s public school students were charter students in 2013–14.
  • Only one community had more than 10 percent of its public school students in charters during 2012–13.

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

  • The state’s public charter schools served a significantly higher percentage of racial and ethnic minority students when compared with traditional public schools in 2012–13 (29 percentage points more).
  • Sixty-five percent of the state’s public charters were located in nonsuburban areas in 2011–12 as compared to 37 percent of traditional public schools.
  • Twenty-six public charters opened in the state between 2009–10 and 2013–14, a 7.3 percent average annual open rate.
  • Five public charter schools closed in the state between 2008–09 and 2012–13, a 1.5 percent average annual closure rate.
  • Ninety-two percent of the state’s public charters were startups, and 8 percent were conversions during 2012–13.
  • In 2010–11, 94 percent of the public charter schools in Massachusetts were independently managed, 3 percent were associated with a nonprofit charter management organization, and 3 percent were associated with a for-profit educational management organization.
  • The only authorizer in Massachusetts is the state board of education. As of 2013–14, the state board of education had authorized 81 public charters.
  • There were no virtual public charter schools in Massachusetts during 2012–13.

Recommendations

Massachusetts has small proportions of public charter schools and public charter school students. However, such students, on average, are performing better than their peers in traditional public schools in reading and math, although it is important to note that the most recent student academic growth data available are from 2010–11. We encourage the state to enact policies to increase the impact of such success, including lifting its many restrictions on charter school growth and providing more equitable funding and facilities support to charters.