School Analysis / Overview

IMPROVEMENT OF Charter school versus public school students over time

Among our results, we found students have stronger learning among charter school versus public school students. Our evidence shows how successful, diverse schools deliver critical proof points of ways to improve outcomes for students and pave the road ahead.

Explore school results

Before you begin

Learn more about our 180 Days of Learning metric.

Historical trend

Learn more about how academic growth has stacked up in the past.

Multi-state results

See how charter school students compare to traditional public school (TPS) students.

CMO operational analysis

Discover the nationwide impact of charter schools on student academic progress over time.

Discover key findings

Charter schools enroll and educate more diverse and academically challenged students than local TPS schools.

Over time, the share of charter schools with stronger annual gains than their local TPS has grown to 36% for both reading and math. At the same time, the share with gains weaker than the TPS alternatives has shrunk to 17% of schools in reading and 25% of schools in math.

More than 1,000 charter schools provide “gap-busting” learning with equitable progress across minority, poverty and English language learner (ELL) students relative to their more advantaged peers and create school-wide achievement that exceeds state averages.

The improvement in student learning in charter schools comes mostly from existing schools improving over time; positive learning gains from newly opened charter schools are a smaller influence.

Stronger gains relative to TPS are found in elementary, middle and high schools but not multi-level schools.

CMOs open new network schools that are stronger in both reading and math than the typical charter school in our study, demonstrating their ability to scale academically successful schools.

Explore the written reports

STUDY I – 2009 National
Charter School Study

STUDY II – 2013 National
Charter School Study

STUDY III – 2023 National
Charter School Study