Texas Charter School System Suffers Low Graduation Rates
New Study Released by IDRA
The Class of 2016 saw Graduation Rates of 62% in Charter Schools compared to 90% in Traditional Public Schools
San Antonio (December 13, 2017) - Texas students in charter schools are not necessarily faring better than their peers in traditional public schools. With significantly lower graduation rates and lower accountability ratings reported by the Texas Education Agency, the state's planned expansion of charter schools is troubling.
The Class of 2016 saw graduation rates of 62 percent in charter schools compared to 90 percent in traditional public schools.
While some charter schools serve some of the students in highest need, analysis of TEA data for 2016-17 statewide reveals that there is very little difference in the percentage of students served who are considered at risk of dropping out: 50 percent in traditional schools compared to 52 percent in charter schools.
Nearly one out of every five charter campuses (22.9 percent) failed to achieve "meet standard" or the lower "alternative standard," compared to about one of every 25 traditional public schools.
Texas public schools serve 5.4 million students, while charter schools serve only 273,000.
State funding for charter schools increased at a much faster rate than for public schools in the last decade, with an 8 percent increase for traditional school compared to a 236 percent increase for charters.
"The state of Texas is required to provide an excellent education for all students. Rather than funneling tax money to private interests or to charter school operators that are not accountable to the public, our state must shore up neighborhood public schools where all students graduate from high school prepared for college or the world of work, no matter what the color of their skin, the language they speak, or where they happen to be born. Our children are worth more than education by lottery," she continued.
With a three-year grant of $59,164,996 from the U.S. Department of Education, the State of Texas is planning the expansion of 115 new charter schools.
The Intercultural Development Research Association is an independent, non-profit organization. Our mission is to achieve equal educational opportunity for every child through strong public schools that prepare all students to access and succeed in college. IDRA strengthens and transforms public education by providing dynamic training; useful research, evaluation, and frameworks for action; timely policy analyses; and innovative materials and programs.
We are committed to the IDRA valuing philosophy, respecting the knowledge and skills of the individuals we work with and build on the strengths of the students and parents in their schools.