By Naeisha Rose
Students at charter schools in the city outperformed their peers at public schools on statewide exams in both English Language Arts and math for grades three to eight in the 2016 to 2017 school year, according to the state Department of Education.
And black charter school students outshone their white counterparts on both tests for the first time.
James Merriman, CEO of the New York City Charter School Center, was not surprised.
“As has been true for more than a decade, charter school students continue to lead the way,” Merriman said. “Charter students outperformed their district counterparts not only in the percent of children passing, but also in growth year over year.”
A score of four indicates a student excels at a subject, three means a student is proficient in math or English, a two shows partial proficiency and a one depicts a lack of proficiency, according to Jonathan Burman, a representative of the DOE.
Charter students scored 48.2 percent proficiency on ELA tests, while public school students had 40.6 percent proficiency scores. This is a 7.6 percent difference in skill. The difference in math was even wider. Charter students had a 51.7 percent proficiency score on the subject and district students had a 37.8 percent score. That is a 13.9 percent disparity, according to NYC Charter’s analysis of the DOE test score assessment.
There were significant gaps in terms of aptitude in math and English when it came to some minority students, according to the NYC Charter study of the DOE results.
“The differences are even wider when comparing the performance of NYC black and Hispanic students to their counterparts in district schools,” Merriman said.
In math black charter school students had a 51.3 proficiency level and a 48.3 percent level in English. In comparison, their counterparts had a 20.7 percent proficiency level in math and a 28.9 percent proficiency level in ELA, according to the study. That is a 30.6 percent difference in math and a 19.4 percent difference in English.
Hispanics had a 48.5 percent proficiency level in math and 45 percent proficiency level in ELA, according to the study. Their district counterparts scored 23.2 lower in math and 15.3 percent lower in English. This means district students had a 25.3 percent aptitude in math and a 29.7 percent aptitude in English.
“For the first time, black New York City charter school students outperformed white test takers statewide in both ELA and math,” Merriman said.
Black charter students scored 48.3 percent in ELA and 51.3 percent in math, according to the study. White students scored 47.1 percent in ELA and 50.4 percent in math.
“We congratulate the hardworking students, teachers, leaders and families in NYC charter schools,” Merriman said.
Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose