An analysis of Arkansas benchmark test scores from the 2008-09 academic year shows that open enrollment charter schools score better than their peer public schools on standardized tests, but that this success is driven by the distinct demographic characteristics of the charters rather than being attributable to any advantage of educational strategy. Arkansas open enrollment charter schools, on average, have student populations that have fewer children of color and substantially fewer low-income children than their peer traditional public schools. Once these factors are controlled, Arkansas’s charter schools do not outperform their traditional school peers.
We are very pleased to release a new report on the education achievement gap. The Panel and Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families commissioned the report from researchers at the Clinton School and Hendrix College.
Every child in Arkansas should have the same opportunity to excel in school regardless of their race, class, culture or location. Sadly, this is not currently the case. This report is a summary of available data highlighting the severity of the achievement gap in Arkansas schools.