State Assessments: Does a Charter School Truly Demonstrate Higher Proficiency than its Public Counterpart?
This project compared annual mandated assessment results for an urban charter school, two comparable urban schools and the encompassing urban district. Scores in grades three through eight in the target school were analyzed to determine the percentage of students scoring at proficiency levels three and four (scores of one and two are considered failing). These scores were then compared to the surrounding district as well as two other schools with similar demographics using a Z-test for estimation of a proportion. The results indicated although the number of students who performed at proficiency in the target school seemed to be higher, once corrected for the disparity in population size, these students perform the same, or worse than, students in comparable schools. Further, the scores are more inconsistent between grades in the target school than the scores in the lower performing schools. Suggestions for remediating the inconsistency and addressing the problems for consistently low percentage of proficiency scores are provided.