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National Alliance Releases Statement in Response to Secretary Clinton’s Comments About Charter Schools

Washington, D.C. – Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, released the following statement in response Secretary Hillary Clinton’s comments about charter schools at a South Carolina townhall meeting on November 7:

“We appreciate Secretary Clinton’s decades-long support for charter public schools. In fact, charter schools have had strong bipartisan support since the Clinton administration. That being said, we do take issue with Secretary Clinton’s overgeneralizing of charter schools not serving these so-called “hardest-to-teach” students, particularly when the facts are so strong to the contrary.

  •  There is no difference in the percentage of English Language Learner (ELL) students served between charter and non-charter public schools.
  • 37% of charter schools have at least 75% of their students in poverty as compared to 23% of non-charter schools.
  • Nationally, in the 2013-14 school year, charter schools served a higher-percentage of low-income students (57%) – than district-run schools (52%) – and have better outcomes. 
  • 2015 NAEP scores show that in Los Angeles, there was dramatically better student performance in charter schools than with district-run schools. Proficiency rates were triple that of non-charter schools. Los Angeles charter schools demographics are 75% low-income students and 85% of student have minority status.
  • In New York City, charter public schools do a better job of retaining students with disabilities than their non-charter public school counterparts. Specifically, 53% of charter school kindergarteners with disabilities were still in the same schools 4 years later, compared with 49% of non-charter schools. 

The National Alliance welcomes a dialogue about our nation’s public education system, the role that charter public schools play in improving public education, and providing parents with quality public school options.”  

About Charter Schools
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, many research studies have 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 on 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 movement. For more information, please visit www.publiccharters.org