Report: More than half of top California schools for low-income students are charter schools

Data from educational justice group shows that charters are pivotal in helping students overcome the barriers of poverty 

SACRAMENTO – A list released in October, 2015, of the highest performing schools for low-income students across California, released by the non-partisan research and advocacy group Education-Trust West, reveals that the majority are charter public schools. This is the latest data affirming that charter schools are pivotal in helping students overcome the barriers of poverty.

“It is crucial that California celebrates and learns from the schools that are yielding the strongest results for those students with the greatest needs,” says Myrna Castrejon, acting CEO of the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA). “We are thrilled to see that so many of these schools are charters. Clearly charters are fulfilling their mission of helping historically under-served students get the education they deserve, and we will continue to support our charter schools and ensure they continue to help students in poverty excel.”

The new Ed Trust-West data highlights the “top 10 highest performing schools for low-income 3rd, 8th and 11th grade students” in California. In 3rd and 11th grade, five of the top ten are charter schools. In 8th grade, seven of the top ten are charters.

“This data helps explain why there are more than 150,000 students, many of them living in poverty, on charter school wait lists throughout California,” says Castrejon. “These students and their families recognize that in many cases charters are their best hope for success. As legislators and school boards seek to provide their communities with the best possible schools, this data speaks loud and clear: charters are a big part of the solution.”

The new data from the Education Trust-West is available here:

The California Charter Schools Association’s vision is to increase student learning by growing the number of families choosing high quality charter public schools so that no child is denied the right to a great public education. Our mission is to ensure a million students attend charter public schools by 2022, with charter public schools outperforming non-charter public schools on every measure. We do this by serving as the advocacy organization that builds the policy environment needed to grow as quickly as possible the number of students attending high quality charter public schools. For more information, please visit our website at

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