Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Study of LA Charter Schools Finds Hispanic Gains

Hispanic students who attend Los Angeles charter schools make greater gains in reading and math over the course of a year than their Hispanic peers in traditional public schools, according to a new study. 

The study, “Charter School Performance in Los Angeles,” was conducted by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University.

The study examined charter schools located within Los Angeles Unified School District boundaries for four school years, from 2008 to 2012. Superintendent John Deasy praised the findings.

In 2010-11, the there were 195 charter schools in the city, the study says. The study took growth in standardized tests and then calculated the equivalent additional days of learning that amounted to. 

The study considered that a typical school year is composed of about 180 days of learning.  The gains for all students studied amounted to 50 days in reading and 79 in math. Hispanic students overall gained 43 days in reading and 72 in math. 

However, the greatest benefits in Los Angeles were found for low-income Hispanic students, who gained approximately 58 additional days of learning in reading and 115 more days in math compared to their peers in the district’s traditional schools.

White students did not benefit dramatically from attending charter schools. White students were found to gain about 14 additional days of learning in reading. There was no noticeable difference in math. ELL students demonstrated gains of about 36 days in reading.

Charter schools had a lower percentage of Hispanic students than the traditional schools. In 2010-11, about 75 percent of LAUSD students were Hispanic, compared with 58 percent of the charter school students.

Additionally, about 30 percent of the school district’s students were English Language Learners, compared with 21 percent of the charter students.