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Charter School Group Issues Statement on 60th Anniversary of Brown v. Board

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools President and CEO Nina Rees issued the following statement to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Supreme Court Brown v. Board of Education decision:

“Sixty years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its historic ruling in Brown v. Board of Education to guarantee all students had equal access to quality schools. Today, for millions of minority children, public charter schools are making that a reality. We are proud of the work public charter schools are doing to help close the achievement gap and provide minority and low-income students with a path out of poverty.

“In many communities, it has only been in the last few decades since the creation of charter schools that minority children finally have the opportunity to attend a public school that is on par with or better than public schools in non-minority neighborhoods. But there is much more work to be done to ensure all children have equal access to great schools. There are more than one million student names on charter schools waiting lists nationwide. And in some minority communities with chronically failing schools there are no public charter schools options at all. We owe it to all students to make sure they can attend a school that challenges and prepares them for the future.”

Nationwide, 63 percent of students enrolled in public charter schools are minority students. The most recent independent research study on charter school performance conducted by Stanford University found that minority students are learning more in public charter schools. The 2013 study compared minority students in public charter schools to minority students in traditional public schools and found that in charter schools:

  • Black students gain nearly three additional weeks of learning in both reading and math.
  • Low-income black students gain nearly one and a half additional months of learning in reading and more than one and a half additional months of learning in math.
  • Low-income Hispanic students gain nearly three additional weeks of learning in reading and more than a full month in math.
  • Hispanic students designated as English Language Learners (ELL) gained two and a half additional months of learning in reading and more than two months in math.
These nationwide findings reflect the success of individual charter schools across the country that are providing minority students with a top-level education. For example:
  •  In New York City’s Success Academy Harlem 4 Middle School, which serves 97 percent children of color, 96 percent of students passed the state math exam. Nearby traditional district schools had pass rates ranging from 3 to 8 percent.
  • Urban Prep Academies in Chicago serves 100 percent minority students and has boasted 100 percent college acceptance rates since their inaugural class in 2010. The Illinois state average college acceptance rate is 57 percent.
  • In 2013, 98 percent of Achievement First’s black seniors in Connecticut, New York, and Rhode Island took the SAT exam, achieving an average score of 1,482, compared to a national average for black students of 1,278.
  • California’s Preuss School serves 97 percent minority students and has an Academic Performance Index (API) score of 888 – one of the highest in San Diego County.

About Public Charter Schools

Public charter schools are independent, public, and tuition-free schools that are given the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable for advancing student achievement. Since 2010, all but one independent research study has found that students in charter schools do better in school than their traditional school peers. For example, one study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University found that charter schools do a better job teaching low income students, minority students, and students who are still learning English than traditional schools. Separate studies by the Center for Reinventing Public Education and Mathematica Policy Research have found that charter school students are more likely to graduate from high school, go on to college, stay in college and have higher earnings in early adulthood.

About the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement. Our mission is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter sector. For more information, please visit our website at www.publiccharters.org.

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