April 26, 2013

Lift cap on urban charters in Massachusetts

April 25, 2013

By Nina Rees and Gerard Robinson

As former federal and state government education officials, we continue to be impressed by the performance of Massachusetts charter public schools. But we can’t help but wonder how a state that has opened some of the country’s highest-performing charters has failed to lift the cap on the number of urban schools that can open. Taking this simple step would create extraordinary new opportunities for families to benefit from the charter school experience.

A new Stanford University study confirms that charter schools are a smashing success in Massachusetts. The study, from Stanford’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes, finds that Boston charter schools are doing more to close achievement gaps than any other group of public schools in the country.

The typical Boston charter student gains the equivalent of more than 12 months of additional learning annually in reading and 13 months of greater progress in math. Statewide, charter school students gain the equivalent of one-and-a-half more months of learning per year in reading and two-and-a- half more months in math.

Two SABIS® charter schools ranked among the “Best High Schools" in the U.S.

April 26, 2013: Once again, U.S. News and World Report has ranked two SABIS® schools in the U.S. amongst the best high schools in the country.  The SABIS® International Charter School in Springfield, Massachusetts, and the International Academy of Flint in Flint, Michigan, received silver and bronze medal rankings, respectively, according to the “Best High Schools Ranking” for 2013.

To produce the 2013 Best High Schools rankings, U.S. News teamed up with the Washington D.C.-based American Institutes for Research (AIR), one of the largest behavioral and social science research organizations in the world. Over 21,000 public high schools in 49 states and the District of Columbia were analyzed and ranked based on a 3-step process.

First, each school’s student performance was analyzed to see if they were performing better than statistically expected for an average student in the state.

Second, results of each school’s least-advantaged students (African-American, Hispanic, and low-income) were analyzed to determine performance better than average for the same demographics in the state.

Third, and finally, the school’s College Readiness Index (CRI) was calculated based on the number of students who took at least one AP or IB test before or during their senior year, divided by the number of 12th graders for that year.