North Carolina schools have received their 2015-2016 School Report Cards, which provide school performance grades and data on student achievement, school safety and technology, teacher quality, and more.
This is the fifth in a series of blog posts Real Estate Experts will publish covering School Report Card results for school districts throughout Triangle.
In this post, we will explore the Triangle’s charter schools. Some North Carolina residents are unclear on the concept of the charter school. Charter schools are public schools, funded by state, federal, and local taxpayer dollars and subject to many of the same accountability and regulatory requirements as district or traditional public schools. Charter schools are unique because they operate under the supervision of a board of directors chosen by the school community, rather than a publicly-elected school board. Charter schools also have the freedom to employ innovative instructional methods and curricula, although the state still requires all charter school students to participate in the state testing program.
If a charter school is under performing, it can be shut down. According to Lee Teague, executive director of the N.C. Charter Schools Association, “Charters are being held accountable. If a charter scores a D or F performance grade and scores below 60 percent proficiency for two of three years, the school does not receive extra help like a conventional school deemed ‘low performing.’ It can lose its charter and be closed down.”
In addition to increasing the number of public school options available to families, charter schools are focusing on closing the achievement gap and raising the bar about what’s possible – and what should be expected – in public education. Charter schools are erasing low expectations and breaking through long-standing barriers that have prevented large numbers of at-risk students from achieving educational success.
Last year, more charter schools in Wake County earned higher School Report Card grades than their traditional public school counterparts. Out of 18 Wake County charter schools, 14 earned an A+, A, or B. Only half of the Wake County school system’s 167 schools received a B grade or higher during the 2015-16 school year.
In Durham County, Voyager Academy, Research Triangle High School, and Central Park School for Children each earned a B.
In Orange County, Woods Charter in Chapel Hill earned an A+, The Expedition School in Hillsborough earned an A, and Chatham Carter in Siler City and Willow Oak Montessori in Chapel Hill each earned a B.
For more information on charter schools, visit the North Carolina Public Charter Schools Association.
For a detailed report on North Carolina’s charter schools’ performance, you can search the comprehensive database provided on our website to see the grades schools received over the last three years and whether the school exceeded, met, or did not meet its expected academic growth.