Reimagining Education

What the data says about MO public charter schools

How are public charter schools in Missouri doing?

A new collection of state data released by the Saint Louis PRiME Center paints a pretty clear picture of charter school success in Missouri.

In both Kansas City and St. Louis the public charter school sector (data from all the public charter schools in each city combined, just like a district combines data from all of its schools) outperformed the local traditional district school system on statewide tests.


In Kansas City, the charter sector had 20 percent more students testing as proficient or advanced than Kansas City Public Schools (KCPS) and 18 percent more students testing as proficient in math.


In Saint Louis, the charter sector had 30 percent more students testing as proficient or advanced than Saint Louis Public Schools (SLPS) and 18 percent more students testing as proficient in math.

And the charter sector in both cities is getting better results with less money.

In Kansas City, the charter sector as a whole spends $55 less per student than KCPS, but one charter school, DeLaSalle Education Center, focuses on alternative education with more wraparound services than most schools which results in them spending $27,481 per student and skews the numbers slightly. Excluding DeLaSalle Education Center, the charter sector in Kansas City spends $713 less per student.


In Saint Louis, the numbers are even clearer and much more dramatic. The Saint Louis charter sector spends $2,941 less per student than SLPS.

The charter sectors in both cities also significantly outperformed their district counterparts in ACT participation and scores and on graduation rates.

In Kansas City, the charter sector had 7 percent more students taking the ACT with charter sector students scoring on average 6 percent higher than KCPS students. The Kansas City charter sector had a graduation rate that was 14.3 percent higher than KCPS.

In Saint Louis, the charter sector had 11.7 percent more students taking the ACT with charter sector students scoring on average 7.2 percent higher than SLPS students. The Saint Louis charter sector had a graduation rate that was 19.2 percent higher than SLPS.

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