Charter School Performance in South Carolina 2019

Charter school students on average fall behind peers in math

1. The typical charter school student in South Carolina experienced similar learning gains in reading and weaker growth in math compared to their traditional school peers. The disadvantage in math for charter students is as if the students obtained 53 fewer days of learning in a typical 180-day school year.

2. Online charter schools showed particularly weak results, with remarkably weaker growth in both reading and math relative to students in traditional public schools and students attending brick-and-mortar charter schools.

3. The one bright spot for charter students was in middle school, where students showed similar progress in reading, while they gained an edge over their traditional school peers in math.

4. However, White charter students (who account for the majority of charter students in South Carolina) experienced lower learning gains in reading and math in charter schools compared to the learning they would have received in traditional public schools. CREDO’s analysis shows students in poverty and students receiving special education services experienced lower learning gains associated with their charter attendance.