Public charter schools cite positive test scores, diversity in making case for new authorization

We’ve called restoration and preservation of Washington’s public charter schools one of the few must-dos in a short legislative session. In The News Tribune, Debbie Cafazzo reports some data that make the case. We’ll just give a sample below. Read the story to learn how the schools are persevering, even thriving, despite the unfortunate state Supreme Court ruling striking down Washington’s voter-approved public charter school law.

Summit reports that on the nationally norm-referenced Measures of Academic Progress test, Tacoma’s Summit Olympus students:

▪ More than doubled the national average growth in reading and more than tripled the national average growth in math.

▪ Placed in the top third of schools in the nation in terms of math growth.

The growth occurred even though nearly half of Summit Olympus students entered school in the fall an average of four years below grade-level in reading and math, Summit officials said.

Who’s attending?

Statewide, [Tom] Franta [Tom Franta, CEO of the Washington State Charter Schools Association] said, more than 70 percent of charter kids are students of color, and at least 70 percent qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, a marker for poverty.

He said the positive test scores are “a result of what happens when a support structure is in place.”

The House Education Committee will hear Senate Bill 6194 this Friday in a 1:30 p.m. hearing. SB 6194, which would provide funding for public charter schools after a state Supreme Court ruling deemed them unconstitutional, passed the Senate 27-20 on Jan. 20. The bill amends Initiative 1240’s provisions authorizing and funding charter schools to address the Supreme Court’s concerns about non-common school status and funding…
AWB has long supported public charter schools, and testified in favor of this bill last month.
There’s ample evidence to support this legislation.