2022 City Studies
Summary of Findings
In 2022, CREDO at Stanford University completed an analysis of the performance of public schools in Fort Worth, Texas.1 This summary highlights the findings about students’ academic performance in public K-12 schools in Fort Worth. Performance is measured by one-year learning gains or growth students made from one school year to the next. We benchmark the growth of Fort Worth students against the state average academic and then compare the progress of charter school students with that of similar district school students within Fort Worth, accounting for student characteristics.
Students in Fort Worth exhibited weaker learning gains in reading and similar gains in math compared to the state average in the 2018-19 growth period.
Fort Worth charter schools showed similar reading growth in both reading and math relative to the state average. District schools in Fort Worth were on par with the state average in math and exhibited weaker growth in reading than the state average. Within Fort Worth, charter schools outperformed district schools in reading and grew similarly in math.
A deeper dive into Fort Worth student growth for the period ending in Spring 2019 reveals the following findings:
Charter School Type:
Fort Worth charter schools affiliated with a Charter Management Organization (CMO) make progress similar to the state average in both reading and math.2
Overall black and Hispanic students in Fort Worth, particularly those attending district schools, post weaker growth in reading while making similar learning gains in math compared to the state average of students of same race/ethnicity. Fort Worth black and Hispanic students in charter schools grow similarly in both subjects compared to the average student of same race/ethnicity statewide. A comparison of school sectors within Fort Worth indicates that the average black student in charter schools is on par with the average black student in the district schools in both subjects, while the Hispanic charter students outperform their district peers in reading.
Poverty, ELL, and Special Education:
Fort Worth students living in poverty exhibit weaker learning gains in reading and similar learning gains in math compared to the average student in poverty in the state. The lower overall growth in reading is mostly driven by district students, while the performance of charter students is not statistically difference from that of an average student in the state in both subjects.
English Language Learners (ELLs) in Fort Worth, as a whole grow similarly in both subjects. In reading, Fort Worth ELLs in charter schools outperform their state peers as well as their district peers within Fort Worth. Fort Worth students receiving special education services, regardless of the sector of their schools, exhibit similar learning gains in both subjects compared to the average special education student in the state. Comparisons of charter and district schools within Fort Worth reveal no statistically significant differences in growth by school sector for students receiving special education students in either subject.
Both male and female students in Fort Worth overall post weaker reading and similar math growth than the average student of the same gender in the state. The patterns of learning gains for students by gender mirror each other when broken down by school sector. Male and female students studying in Fort Worth charter schools grow on par with the average student of the same gender statewide in both reading and math. Male and female students enrolled in Fort Worth district schools make smaller learning gains in reading and similar gains in math relative to the state averages.
Comparisons of sectors within Fort Worth reveal that male students enrolled in charter outperform the male students enrolled in the district schools in reading. Female students in charter schools make similar learning gains in reading and math to female students in Fort Worth district schools.
1 The conclusions of this research do not necessarily reflect the opinions or official position of the Texas Education Agency, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the Texas Workforce Commission or the State of Texas.
2 The other charter school type is independent charter schools. There are only two independent charter schools with student growth scores in Fort Worth during the span of this study; we redact the results for this type due to the small number of the schools.
Presentation of Findings