Enrollment in Colorado charter schools is up 67 percent between 2007 and 2011, and by the 2011-12 school year, one in 10 Colorado public school student was enrolled in a charter.
That’s one trend reported in the Colorado Department of Education’s triennial report on the state of charter schools.
There’s a wealth of interesting information in the report, which you can read in full below; please post interesting tidbits you find in the comments. Gretchen Morgan, the Colorado Department of Education’s Director of Choice and Innovation, identified a few main trends that have developed among the state’s charter schools in the past three years. They include:
- Charter schools are catching up to their traditional public school counterparts in the percentages of minority students they serve; the percentage of minority students who attend charter schools is now roughly equal to the percentage of minorities in public schools statewide.
- Charters in Colorado are also serving greater proportions of impoverished students than they have in the past. In 2012, nearly a third of charter schools’ students were eligible to receive free or reduced-price lunch – that’s up from about 18 percent in 2001.
- But despite the steady growth, the total percent of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch enrolled in charter schools has remained about 10 percentage points lower than the statewide average each year.
- Charters also lag behind statewide averages in the percentage of students with disabilities they enroll, though the gap is closing. Statewide, students with disabilities make up just over 9 percent of public school students. In charter schools, they make up almost 7 percent.
- Generally speaking, charter schools in 2012 outperformed traditional public schools on state performance measures, with some caveats. For example, on the state’s School Performance Framework, charter schools earned a greater percentage of points on all measures except post-secondary and workforce readiness. Similarly, a greater percentage of charter school students scored proficient or advanced on state writing tests in the elementary and middle grades, but larger percentages of non-charter high school students scored well on the tests.
There’s lot of other comparative data in the report, including much more detailed performance information and data on teacher salaries in charter and traditional public schools. Read the full report below on or the state Board of Education’s website.