Archive for the ‘low performing’ Category

Low-performing public schools—both charter and traditional district schools—are stubbornly resistant to significant change, according to a new study released this week by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. Reviewing 10 states over five years, analysts found the vast majority of such schools remained open and low-performing. The charter sector did slightly better at closing
down weak schools, but neither sector has cause for celebration.

Are Bad Schools Immortal? The Scarcity of Turnarounds and Shutdowns in Both Charter and District Sectors, identified some 2,025 low-performing charter and district schools across 10 states and tracked them from 2003-04 through 2008-09 to determine how many were turned around, shut down, or remained low-performing. Results were dismal. Seventy-two percent of the original low-performing charter schools remained in operation—and remained low-performing—five years later, as did 80
percent of district schools.

Across all 10 states, the charter sector does a bit better than the district sector at closing bad schools: 19 percent of low-performing charters identified in 2003-04 had closed by 2008-09, vs. 11 percent in the district sector. But this isn‘t great news—and it challenges the belief that charters‘ special governance and accountability arrangements ensure that bad ones don‘t linger.

However, among both sectors, real transformation is rare. Few low-performing schools—barely one percent—managed to dramatically improve their proficiency rates over this five-year period. And fewer than 10 percent made even moderate improvements over that time.  Results varied by state. For instance, in Arizona, Florida, and California, the charter sectors did
notably better than districts at closing schools. And Ohio was notably more successful in closing low-performing schools in both sectors than the other nine states in the study. By contrast, Minnesota‘s charter and district sectors displayed both the highest rates of persistent low performance and the lowest rates of closure among the 10 states.

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