Buffalo charter schools are proving once again why they’re a better option for families and students – because for yet another year, Buffalo charters significantly outperformed Buffalo City School District on both the New York State Math and English Language Arts assessments.
Across grades three through eight, the six grades tested annually in both Math and ELA, the Buffalo charter sector outperformed the district in terms of the percent of students scoring ‘proficient’ by 8.2 percentage points in Math and 7.5 percentage points in ELA.
Charters outperformed the district across both subject areas at every single grade level, doing especially well at the earlier grades: in 3rd and 4th grade Math, charter schools outperformed the district by 16.3 and 11.2 percentage points, respectively. In 3rd and 4th grade ELA, charter schools similarly outperformed the district by 11.0 and 10.8 percentage points, respectively.
Not only are charters outperforming the Buffalo Public Schools, but they are also raising student achievement more quickly.
Nearly 9,000 students attended a Buffalo charter school in the 2016-17 school year, with around 3,000 families on waiting lists. Buffalo should be clamoring for more charter seats. Elmwood Village Charter School, for example, is set to open a second campus this fall: outperforming the district by an astounding 28.8 percentage points in ELA and 35.5 percentage points in Math, these new seats cannot come soon enough. There should be a city-wide call for and effort to support expanding and replicating charter schools continually proving to succeed.
Photo courtesy of Elmwood Village Charter School
Parents are demanding more options, and access to schools who are succeeding for students, and charter schools are rewarding that faith. In a district that continues to struggle, and where achievement is especially concentrated in the district’s criteria-enrollment schools, increasing options and access for parents to choose the right school for their student helps all students succeed.
Families want and deserve high-quality school options. Charter schools have shown, year after year, that they are succeeding for students. Buffalo should continue embracing and celebrating these high-achieving schools as a key part of improving educational achievement for all students.
Charts and Graphs by NECSN Data and Research Director Wendy Nelson