California Charters Improve Achievement for Disadvantaged Students

Today’s Los Angeles Times reports on a new survey from the California Charter Schools Association that shows that when using the Academic Performance Index as a measuring tool, 12 of the top 15 public schools in California that cater primarily to poor children are charters.

The association, which is an advocate for charter schools, focused on schools where at least 70% of the children qualify for free or reduced price lunches. Of more than 3,000 public schools statewide that fit that description, the highest API score — 967 — was earned by American Indian Public Charter, a middle school in Oakland whose students are primarily Asian, black and Latino, and have a poverty rate of 98%. It was followed by its sibling, American Indian Public High School, with a score of 958.

I thought Ben Chavis, leader of the American Indian Public Charter school summed it up rather well:

“These poor kids are doing well because we practice math and language arts,” he said. “That’s it. It’s simple.”

For the full California Charter Schools Association survey results go here.