A few weeks ago, I put out a top twenty list of UC admittance in LAUSD. Almost immediately, people noted that more than half the list were charter schools. LA School Report noted, “Of the top 20 schools in LA Unified with the highest UC acceptance rates, calculated by School Data Nerd blog, more than half were independent charters.”
So that got me thinking – Do charter schools outperform traditional schools in UC Admittance?
Statewide, the effect of charter schools is relatively low. The biggest difference is in applications. Charter students apply to UCs at a rate 4.6% higher than traditional school students. That alone might account for the higher admittance rate. But overall, that increased admittance rate is not super impressive.
But what about in Los Angeles? Are the results different in LAUSD?
In Los Angeles Unified, charter students apply at a rate that is 7.3% higher than traditional schools and get admitted at a rate that is 4.8% higher. Charter schools in LA also perform 2.6% higher than charter schools across the state.
Why does this happen? Why do charters in Los Angeles perform better than those across the state?
I think the reason comes down to one set of schools: Alliance College Ready Public Schools is a beast when it comes to UC admittance. 29% of their students get admitted to UC’s. And their success is consistent – all of their schools are above a 14% admittance rate. Without Alliance, the LAUSD Charter admittance lowers from 19.5% to 17%, which would essentially be a similar result to the statewide level.
So let’s go back to that original question – Do charters outperform traditional schools in UC Admittance? The answer is more complex than a simple yes or no. Statewide, the results are pretty similar. But in Los Angeles, yes, charters do outperform traditional schools, but it is primarily because of one very large, very successful CMO that seems to really know what it is doing when it comes to college acceptance.