We’ve reported in previous years that the overall performance of Chicago’s charter schools has been no better than the overall performance of neighborhood schools. Looking at the passing rates and mean scale scores for the most recent 2015 PARCC results, the situation appears the same. In fact, for grades 3-8 on the ELA and math tests, neighborhood schools performed slightly better.
However, if we look at these results by race, we see that black and Latino charter students actually performed better on the PARCC tests than neighborhood school students. The difference is greater for black students. Here are the results for black students on the 2015 ELA and math tests:
Here are the results for Latino students:
So if Latinos and black students are doing better in charter schools compared with neighborhood schools, why are the overall scores for neighborhood schools slightly better than for charters? Because of the performance of white and Asian students in neighborhood schools. Whites and Asians are the highest performers in both charter and neighborhood schools. But unlike blacks and Latinos, whites and Asians do better in neighborhood schools than charters. And because the percentages of Asians and whites are greater in neighborhood schools than charters, the scores from those two groups have a greater influence on the overall scores for neighborhood schools.
Here are the scores for white students. You can see whites performed better in neighborhood schools than n charter schools.
You can see similar results for Asian students:
We can also see the difference in achievement level between black students in the free and reduced lunch program those not in the program.