Well, with Scot Lehigh once again burnishing the charter school myth in today’s Globe, it’s time once again to go to the numbers.
Charter schools like to tout their test scores and long waiting lists, especially when advocating for more charter schools. But neither they nor their handmaidens in the local media ever talk about their attrition.
Using data from the Mass DOE’s website, let’s look at the attrition from several Boston charter schools, shall we?
Academy of the Pacific Rim had 81 5th graders in the 2005-2006 school year. Only 26 of those students remain as 12th graders this year.
Boston Collegiate Charter School had 88 6th graders in the 2006-2007 school year. Only 35 of those students remain as 12th graders this year.
Boston Preparatory Charter School had 102 6th graders in the 2006-2007 school year. Only 39 remain as 12th graders this year.
City on a Hill Charter School had 130 9th graders in the 2009-2010 school year. Only 47 remain this year as 12th graders.
Codman Academy Charter School had 53 9th graders in the 2009-2010 school year. Only 24 remain this year as 12th graders.
MATCH Charter high school had 72 9th graders in the 2009-2010 school year. Only 45 remain this year.
Judging by these numbers, MATCH is by far the most effective charter high school in Boston, retaining 62.5% of its students until 12th grade.
Academy of the Pacific Rim appears to be the least effective with a 32% retention rate.
As a point of comparison, Boston Public Schools enrolled 4,862 9th graders in 2009-2010 and has 3,869 12th graders this year. This is 79% retention.
I would like it if Scot Lehigh or any charter school advocate or operator could explain to me how these numbers reflect success.