Charter Alliance: Take Report Card Info with 'Grain of Salt'

February 26, 2016

The Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools (OAPCS) added its own critique Friday to the reactions sparked by new report card data, finding some promising results for urban charters but generally urging families to take the data “with a grain of salt.” 

Democratic policymakers and the state’s largest teachers union had likewise urged skepticism following Thursday’s second wave of report card data releases for the 2014-2015 academic year, while the Fordham Institute welcomed a bursting of the “ratings bubble.” (See The Hannah Report, 2/25/16.)

“The report cards released this week for both traditional district and charter schools are overly complex, too late to be useful and are based on constantly shifting state assessment vendors,” said Darlene Chambers, president and CEO of the alliance. “Ohio’s parents should take the recently released results with a grain of salt,” she added.

OAPCS said its analysis of about 220 brick-and-mortar charter schools in the Urban Eight large districts show good performance relative to nearby traditional district schools, specifically a greater likelihood of receiving at least a C on the Performance Index grade. 

“Within the context that new state test systems are continually being changed and that proficiency expectations are redefined every year, it is encouraging that the charter schools have PI scores in this range,” Chamber said. 
That analysis excludes drop-out recovery and statewide online charter schools, but does include schools with blended-learning models and schools that primarily serve students with disabilities, OAPCS said. 

The analysis also found urban brick-and-mortar charters “tracked close” to traditional district counterparts in their likelihood of earning at least a C on the Value-Added grade. 

Among online schools, OAPCS noted the report card data show students who adapt to virtual learning and stay in a school at least two years are succeeding, as indicated by thee “high-mobility Value-Added” grades. 

The alliance said it will release a “more complete” analysis of the report cards early next month.


Story originally published in The Hannah Report on February 26, 2016.  Copyright 2016 Hannah News Service, Inc.