No Arizona Charters We’ve Got to Win MOARRRRR!!!!

September 14, 2017

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

After the release of the 2017 AzMerit, the Arizona Charter School Association reported that 97% of the top 100 Local Education Agencies (LEAs) in terms of percentage passing the English Language Arts AzMerit exams were charters. I decided to check out the data for myself.


This however may actually be “too much winning” given that most of the charter LEAs are individual schools, whereas a school district like Catalina Foothills is a multi-school district. I’ll let you ponder that holy mystery for yourself, but I ran the same numbers for individual campuses. The top 100 individual campuses were almost evenly split between districts and charters-51 district schools and 49 charters.

In 2012-13 (the last time NAPCS had data) charters only made up 24.5% of Arizona public schools, so it is plenty of winning to make up almost half of the top schools by ELA passing rate. I’m thrilled that scores continue to improve for both district and charter schools.

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Arizona Low-Income Scores in Both Districts and Charters are Moving On Up

September 7, 2017

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

The improvement in AZMerit scores looks broad and inclusive across subgroups. Economically disadvantaged students for instance show academic gains across school sectors in Arizona. Here is a look at the trends for 4th grade district students:

Here are the 4th grade trends for low-income students attending Arizona charter schools:

Arizona students made larger academic gains on NAEP between 2009 and 2015 than any other state under very trying circumstances. The AZMerit data indicates that they kept making progress in 2016 and 2017. This is a great accomplishment for our students, our teachers and our policymakers, and hopefully…