Breaking Down the Charter School Data Dashboard

lead image

Charter School Data Dashboard image for blog post

The Charter School Data Dashboard is the National Alliance’s first comprehensive online platform analyzing charter school data over time.

On the Data Dashboard, researchers, school leaders, parents, and advocates will be able to obtain information on the size, growth, and locations of charter schools across the United States. Visitors also have a glimpse into the methodologies used to collect and handle the data from various administrative sources. The Data Dashboard can be used as the go-to resource when looking for the most recent data available on charter schools and will be updated regularly by the National Alliance research team.

Here are a few tips on how to navigate the site:

Charter School Data Dashboard Landing Page

The main page of the Data Dashboard showcases national facts about charter schools along with data visualization of enrollment trends, school growth, locale, student demographics, and free and reduced lunch eligibility. These can be used to pull big-picture takeaways about charter schools and who they serve.

To dig into more of the data, the four menu options—knowledge base, tables and figures, states, and the search feature—will get you what you need.

Charter School Data Knowledge Base

The knowledge base section of the site is where you’ll find the main articles and coinciding tables in the 2020 Charter School Data Digest. The page contains three parts—an overview of the digest and how to cite it, digestible excerpts from our research expanding on the data, and the tables and figures associated with the research.

The main portion of the knowledge base, or charter school data digest, is where to find all our analyses on charter school enrollment share, serving population, locations, management and authorizers, and finance. Our methodologies used in the digest are also included.

Tables and Figures with Charter School and Student Data

We also know that some people may want to dig into the data on their own. With our tables and figures, you can filter the tables and figures by different subjects (e.g. enrollment, demographics, and locales) or by type (e.g. tables or maps). Each entry has its own dataset, methodology, and coordinating knowledge base article.

Charter School Data and Rankings by State

The main page of the state section provides an overview of state model law ranking and the number of charter schools and students in each state. More specific information on state charter school enrollment trends, student demographics, school and campus numbers, free and reduced lunch eligibility, and locales are provided on each of the individual state pages.

On each individual state page, there’s a map tool you can use to find charter schools close to your location. Simply click the "Near Me" widget on the map header (the rightmost icon) and use the sliding scale to determine the distance range, you can view all charter schools in your desired range on the map. You can also use the filters to search results by school type: elementary, elementary-middle, elementary-high, middle, middle-high, and high school. Clicking on each school icon will give users access to more detailed information about each charter school.

Search Tool for the Data Dashboard

We know we have a lot of data here. To ensure you find exactly what you need, we’ve added a quick search function. The search function retrieves all the results from the data dashboard relevant to your search. Interested in learning more about management organizations? Type “management” into the search bar. Authorizer? We have that as well.

Whatever you need it for or level of data you are interested in, the Charter School Data Dashboard is your one-stop-shop for all things charter school data. The Data Dashboard supports the on-going research on charter schools to ensure that all students have equitable access to a high-quality education.


Yueting (Cynthia) Xu is the data specialist at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.


Explore the data for yourself on the updated Charter School Data Dashboard.