About Charter Schools

Academic Performance

Massachusetts charter public schools are closing the achievement gap!

Compared to their district school peers, a higher percentage of Massachusetts charter public school students are scoring proficient or advanced in all subject tests at every grade level. But it is in the challenging arena of Boston and our Gateway Cities that Massachusetts charter schools are making their most impressive strides.

Nationwide, there’s a disturbing and persistent achievement gap between rich and poor kids. Here in Massachusetts, however, charter public schools are proving that students from poor urban communities can achieve at the same high level of academic success as those children from affluent suburbs. Indeed, some of our urban charter schools that serve predominantly poor and minority children are ranked among the best schools in the state.

Urban charter schools aced the 2012 MCAS *

  • Urban charter schools consistently outperform their sending districts by wide margins
  • All 6 Boston charter high schools ranked among the city’s top 10 high schools (based on grade 10 English/math scores) 
  • 8 charter middle schools ranked among Boston’s top 11 non-exam middle schools (based on grade 8 English/math scores) 
  • Nearly 70 percent of Boston charter schools achieved Level 1 status, compared to only 15 percent of district schools 
  • In the state’s Gateway Cities, nearly 60 percent of charter schools were rated as Level 1 schools, compared to 11 percent of district schools 
  • 15 charter schools (4 of them in Boston) ranked or tied Number 1 in the state on various tests 
  • Twenty different charter schools – including six from Boston – ranked or tied Number 1 in the state on various tests. 
  • Seven charter schools – including four from Boston – ranked Number 1 in the state based on the state’s Growth Model, which measures gains in academic performance over time 
  • A higher percentage of African American, Hispanic, and low-income students enrolled in charter public schools are achieving “proficiency” in all subjects compared to their district peers
  • Boston charter schools erased half the achievement gap in a single year (2009 Harvard-MIT study)
  • By 8th grade, Boston students who entered charter schools in grade 4 improved their test scores to match Brookline's, one of the state's top districts (2009 Harvard-MIT study)

* For statewide MCAS performance details, download this PDF