The state of Missouri has completed its annual review of public schools. Here’s my take on the results: Most public schools in St. Louis - old district schools and newer charter schools - must start doing better jobs in educating students. If you pull out the results from the worst St. Louis charter schools and the gifted magnets in the SLPS, there is no real difference in educational outcomes yet. This means that there are no easy solutions to improving public education.
Yet, most of the charter schools in the state’s review have only been open a few years, and most of them are still accepting transfers of under-performing SLPS students at higher grade levels. I would expect to see charter schools - small, mission- and data-driven ones with involved sponsors - out-performing their SLPS cousins over the next several testing periods.
One further observation: charter schools that fail to perform over time should be closed. The only defensible reason for moving education dollars into charter schools is better educational outcomes.