CAL STATE L.A. STUDY REVEALS
in Public Schools Serving
Low Socio-Economic Status (Low-SES) Students
Los Angeles, CA -- March 11, 2002 -- A California State University, Los Angeles study reveals that low-income, at-risk students are showing greater improvements in CaliforniaÂs charter schools than in their non-charter counterparts.
The study, by Cal State L.A. education faculty membersÂprofessor Simeon P. Slovacek, and associate professor Antony J. KunnanÂand doctoral student Hae-Jin Kim, analyzes three years of California's Academic Performance Index (API) data (1999, 2000, and 2001) for charter and non-charter schools, along with various charter school characteristics.
ÂBecause socioeconomic status (SES) has a strong correlation with student performance on standardized tests,Â says Slovacek, the faculty made comparisons Âfocusing on charter and non-charter schools serving free or reduced lunch-eligible students--that is, low-SES students.Â
In general, the study shows that student achievement in CaliforniaÂs low-income charter schools is improving at a faster rate than in similar non-charter schools. This trend is even more pronounced for schools that serve higher percentages of low-SES students.
Along with the student achievement gains, the study shows that charter schools are serving a greater concentration of low-income students than non-charter schools.
NOTE: Drs. Slovacek and Kunnan will be available to discuss the study with the press on Monday March 11 Â the day the study is released. The study, California Charter Schools Serving Low SES Students: An Analysis of the Academic Performance Index, will be available beginning 10 a.m. on the Web site www.calstatela.edu/academic/ccoe/c_perc/announce.htm.
Study findings were as follows:
2. Student achievement, as measured by API, in CaliforniaÂs low-income charter schools is, on average, improving at a faster rate than in similar non-charter schools.
3. Charter schools are serving a greater concentration of low-income students.
4. Smaller schools tend to outperform larger schools in terms of student achievement growth. In other words, size matters.
5. Socioeconomic status continues to influence student performance on standardized tests.
6. Factors also influencing API performance included percentage of teachers on emergency credentials, high mobility rates, and high percentages of English language learners.
7. Charter schools are overcoming the well-documented challenges faced by start-up schools, including the lack of facilities funding (estimated to be over $1,000 per student). Historically, non-charter schools receive significant facilities funds and support.
About the Study:
About the Authors:
Antony J. Kunnan, Ph.D., is associate professor of education at California State University, Los Angeles. He earned his Ph.D. from UCLA in applied linguistics and his M.A. and B.A. from Bangalore University, India. Professor Kunnan has wide-ranging experience in dealing with training and testing programs. He has received funding and managed projects that have been funded by local, state, national and international agencies. As a world-renowned expert in English language testing, he serves as a consultant to the Educational Testing Service in Princeton, NJ, and to the University of Cambridge Local Examination Syndicate. He is currently the U.S. consultant who is conducting Pre-Service (Level 3) evaluation of all IELP-II programs at Egyptian Universities.
Hae-Jin Kim, M.A., is an Ed.D. candidate in the field of Second Language Assessment at Teachers College, Columbia University. She received her B.A. in Linguistics from UCLA and M.A. in applied linguistics from Teachers College, Columbia University. She is currently engaged in an internship on program evaluation and language assessment under the direction of Professor Slovacek and Professor Kunnan at Cal State University, Los Angeles.
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