Charter school students surpass traditional public school students on state test

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Doral Academy Charter School in Miami consistently ranks among the top charter schools in Florida.

Statewide, the percentage of Florida third graders scoring at grade level or above on the Florida Standards Assessment in English and language arts decreased slightly across all student demographics this year with one notable exception.

Scores on the state test released by the Florida Department of Education earlier this week show charter school student performance was higher than non-charter school student performance by 8 percentage points – 61% versus 53%, respectively. The results follow a trend of high performance among charter schools relative to non-charter schools since 2015, when the test was first administered.

Overall, third-grade performance at grade level or above in 2021 decreased by 4 percentage points compared to 2019. State tests were not administered in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Billed by the Department as a first glimpse of valuable information that will help policymakers understand reading achievements and deficiencies of Florida’s third-grade students, the test is one aspect of overall student assessment results, including letter grades, that will be released this summer.  

Seventy-four percent of Florida’s charter schools earned an overall grade of A or B from the state in 2019 compared with 61 percent of traditional public schools.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of charter schools in Florida, a movement that began with a single charter school in Miami in 1996. Since then, charter schools have become Florida’s most popular school choice option, with nearly 700 of them serving 330,000 students.

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