The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools has ranked Louisiana ninth in a new report that analyzes how open state laws are to the growth of high-quality charter schools. For the 2009-2010 year, Louisiana has 76 charter schools on 78 campuses, serving an estimated 30,405 students.
The report highlights several areas in which Louisiana fares well, including:
- No caps on the number of public charter schools or students
- The variety of public charter schools that are allowed
- Adequate authorizer funding
Some areas that the report highlights that the state needs to improve in are:
- Authorizer and overall program accountability
- Extra-Curricular and Interscholastic Activities Eligibility and Access
- Multi-School Charter Contracts and/or Multi-Charter Contract Boards
Additionally, a June 2009 report by Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes found that Louisiana’s charter schools outperformed traditional public schools. The report concluded,
“The growth demonstrated by charter school students in reading and math during their first year of enrollment in a charter school was equal to the gains made by traditional public school students. However, in subsequent years, the charter school students showed greater gains in both subjects – with the largest increases made in years two and three.”
In an effort to increase general education levels within Louisiana, charter schools offer a proven method for success. To continue this trend, the state should continue to strive for improvement in the areas identified by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.