Last week, the Ohio Department of Education released school grades for the 2016-17 school year. These report cards offer Buckeye families, community members, and taxpayers an important annual review of the performance of the state’s 3,000 plus schools and 600 districts.
For many years, we at Fordham have kept a close eye on the performance of Ohio’s charter schools. We typically gauge their performance by comparing their results to district schools in the state’s “Big Eight” cities. We do this because most brick-and-mortar charters in Ohio are located in these districts (e.g., Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dayton).
In 2015-16, my analysis found some promising signs that the charter sector may be modestly outperforming Big Eight district schools on the state’s value-added measure, an indicator of schools’ impact on pupil growth over time.
How about this year? Let’s compare the A-F ratings that the state gives to schools on the two key report card ratings—the performance index (explained below, under Figure 1) and overall value added.
The first chart indicates that both charter and Big Eight district schools receive low ratings on the performance index. Roughly nine in ten schools in each sector receive Ds or Fs, a pattern that is nearly...