SBE’s charter network struggles like other schools with federal AYP

A new report on the performance of the sprawling network of charter schools under the management of the California State Board of Education found most made progress last year - although like the majority of all other schools statewide, most board-authorized charters also failed to meet federal benchmarks.

The state board is empowered to authorize new charter schools, under certain conditions. Currently, the SBE has oversight of 32 charters and one that is set to open in 2013-14.

Out of that total, 21 failed to meet federal performance requirements as dictated under the No Child Left Behind Act and will be required to submit to a remediation plan to the state. Ten of the board-authorized charters have failed to meet the federal Adequate Yearly Progress for a second year.

Those numbers are not out of step with the rest of California last year, where 27 percent of elementary schools, 18 percent of middle schools, and 28 percent of high schools made AYP targets.

However, as defined by the Academic Performance Index state officials note that virtually all of the board-authorized charters improved student test scores year over year.

Of the 28 SBE-authorized charter schools with two or more years of API data, 23 schools - or 82 percent - met their API goals and 16 schools - or 57 percent - exceeded their API goals while 18 schools met or exceeded the state scoring goal of 800.

Two schools - Livermore Valley Charter and New West Charter in Los Angeles - scored over 900 between the 2009-10 and 2011-12 school years.

Most of the charters authorized by the state board came forward after being turned down at the local and county level. But the SBE can also approve opening a charter that meets statewide or countywide benefits.

Of the 33 charters it oversees with the California Department of Education, there are three statewide benefit charters that operate a total of 13 schools. There is one countywide benefit charter and 19 charter schools, authorized on appeal after local or county denial.

The CDE reports that the SBE charter network served a slightly lower percentage of socioeconomically disadvantaged, English learners and pupils with disabilities than statewide averages in 2011-12.