JLF’s Terry Stoops, director of research and education studies, used his latest newsletter to analyze some of the new data released this week by the state Department of Public Instruction. Here’s a very interesting piece of information.

Nearly 75 percent of North Carolina schools met or exceeded their academic growth goals, as determined by N.C. DPI. Although academic growth is an indispensible statistic, it requires context. For example, a school that meets or exceeds growth expectations may still enroll few students that score at or above grade level.

What about charter schools?

Of the 33 charter schools that reported graduation rates in 2014, over two-thirds of them had a rate that exceeded the state average. Twelve had graduation rates that were at or near 100 percent. The graduation rate for all charter high school students was around 90 percent last year.

According to a preliminary analysis of state test scores, charters have outperformed district schools for the fifth consecutive year.

Public charter schools have earned — and deserve — our respect. Will progressives ever face the data and support charters as a worthwhile option that is proving its value?

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