Statement 8.1




New York, NY — An analysis of New York State Grade 3-8 Math and English Language Arts Assessment results released late Fridayafternoon reveals that New York City’s gains in English and Math among black and Hispanic students were largely anchored by students in charter schools. New York City’s charter schools — which are 92% black and Hispanic — raised local community school district reading and math proficiency rates by an average of 13%, as 76% of charter schools outperformed their local CSDs in Math and 71% outperformed their local CSDs in English.

Black and Hispanic students in charter schools were twice as likely to be proficient in Math than their district school counterparts, and 50% more likely to be proficient in English. For the average black or Hispanic student in New York City, a public charter school is the best available educational option available to him or her.

“This year’s results definitively prove that expanding charter schools is the single best solution to educational inequality in New York City,” said Jeremiah Kittredge, CEO of Families for Excellent Schools. “Charter schools are responsible for much of the city’s gains in English and Math proficiency, especially among students of color. By doubling the number of charters in the city’s poorest districts, we can finally erase the city’s racial achievement gap and give every child the high-quality education they deserve.”

Since 2013, when revised assessments were implemented across the state in alignment with Common Core standards, charter schools have improved nearly twice as much as district schools in Math and 50% more than district schools in English. In the same time span, charter schools have added nearly 50,000 students to the size of the sector, demonstrating quality improvements in academic performance even with scale. Today, of New York City’s top twenty public schools for grades 3-8, nearly half are public charter schools.

By increasing the number of charter schools in New York City’s poorest community school districts — especially Districts 5, 7, 16 and 23 — Math and English proficiency would be projected to exceed citywide averages and close the racial achievement gap.


Charter schools vastly outperformed the districts they serve:

  • The city’s public charter schools – which serve a student population that is 92% Black and Hispanic and 77% low-income – were 20% more proficient in reading and math compared to the rest of New York City students, and 61% more proficient than their local school districts. This rapid improvement is a consistent trend – charter school students have improved twice as fast as the district since 2013.

Charter schools are the highest-performing option for children of color. Black and Hispanic students attending charter schools scored 73% higher than their peers at district schools.  

Charters’ high performance is the driver of growth in low-performing districts. On average, charters raised their local school districts’ reading and math proficiency 13% last year. And in the city’s lowest performing districts, charters were a force multiplier, including:

  • In District 5, charter schools accounted for 72% of proficient students but just 50% of test takers.
  • In District 7, charter schools accounted for 48% of proficient students but only enrolled 25% of test takers.
  • In District 9, charter schools accounted for 24% of proficient students but only enrolled 12% of test takers.

This year’s scores are irrefutable evidence that boldly scaling the city’s charter sector will end the city’s tale of two school systems. Consider this: doubling the number of charter schools in the city’s poorest districts would essentially close the achievement gap in those neighborhoods.  

  • Doubling the number of charters in District 5 would increase math proficiency in the district by 53% to 58%, on par with the city’s five most-proficient school districts, and increase reading proficiency by 32%.
  • Doubling the number of charters in District 7 would increase math proficiency in the district to 35%, surpassing median proficiency for public school districts, and would increase reading proficiency by 26%.
  • Doubling the number of charters in Districts 5, 7, 16, and 23 would lift more than 3,200 children to grade level in math and reading and raise nearly 3,000 children out of the lowest proficiency levels.

Families for Excellent Schools harnesses the power of families to advance policy and political changes that create and sustain excellent schools.

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