Charter Schools have higher SAT Participation Rates

You might think that the summer time is a low point for data. But right as summer break began, the California Department of Education released new data: participation rates for the SAT, ACT and AP tests.

The data is a year old, but I’ll take it.

First, let’s define SAT participation rates: The SAT participation rate is the percent of seniors who took the SAT at some point in high school. They could have taken it in 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th grade – it does not matter.

In the 2015-16 school year, 73% of independent charter school students took the SAT. That is higher than the district, where 61% of students in traditional high schools took the test.

Out of the students at alternative schools, such as community day schools, special education schools or continuation schools, only 3% took the SAT. Also of note, affiliated charters, which tend to be wealthier, had lower participation rates than either independent charter or traditional public schools.

Several schools had 100% participation in the SAT:

  • PUC Community Charter High
  • Alliance Patti And Peter Neuwirth Leadership Academy
  • Wallis Annenberg High
  • New Designs Charter
  • Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy
  • Crenshaw Arts-Technology Charter High
  • Alliance Collins Family College-Ready High
  • Alliance College-Ready Academy High 16
  • Alliance Dr. Olga Mohan High
  • Alliance Renee and Meyer Luskin Academy High
  • Magnolia Science Academy 3
  • Magnolia Science Academy 4
  • RFK Community Schools-New Open World Academy K-12
  • PUC Lakeview Charter High

Only 2 of those 14 schools are traditional high schools, while the other 12 are independent charters.

Another interesting pattern: All of these schools have senior classes with less than 150 students. It makes sense – having fewer students might make it easier to track and manage their SAT participation.

Note: Some schools appear to have higher than 100% SAT participation because of student mobility.

However, when you look at it, there is a weak correlation between class size and SAT participation rates. Senior class size is obviously not the only factor influencing SAT participation rates. The reason I did this was not to show that there is a strong correlation (there isn’t) but to point out several outliers:

  • Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet had a large senior class of 400, but has an SAT participation rate of 94.2%.
  • Humanities and Arts (HARTS) Academy of Los Angeles had a senior class of only 81, but only 42% of their students took the SAT.

There are so many factors at play here: cost of the test, paperwork for fee waivers, student motivation and planned career path. But one major factor may be the decision to take the SAT or the ACT. More on that next time…

Until then, you can look up your school’s SAT participation rate below (only available on

School Name
Percent SAT Participation
View Park Preparatory Accelerated HighData Not Available
Camino Nuevo High No. 2Data Not Available
PUC CALS Middle and Early College HighData Not Available
Camino Nuevo Charter HighData Not Available
View Park Preparatory Accelerated CharterData Not Available
Camino Nuevo Academy #2Data Not Available
PUC Community Charter Middle and PUC Community Cha112.90%
Alliance Patti And Peter Neuwirth Leadership Acade110.92%
Wallis Annenberg High109.09%
New Designs Charter105.19%
Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy103.26%
Crenshaw Arts-Technology Charter High103.03%
Alliance Collins Family College-Ready High102.74%
Alliance College-Ready Academy High 16102.17%
Alliance Dr. Olga Mohan High101.90%
Alliance Renee and Meyer Luskin Academy High101.04%
PUC Lakeview Charter High100.00%
RFK Community Schools-New Open World Academy K-12100.00%
Magnolia Science Academy 3100.00%
Magnolia Science Academy 4100.00%
PUC Early College Academy for Leaders and Scholars99.06%
Central City Value98.29%
Alliance Judy Ivie Burton Technology Academy High97.01%
New Village Girls Academy96.30%
Animo South Los Angeles Charter95.30%
Contreras Learning Center-School of Social Justice95.15%
Magnolia Science Academy95.00%
Alliance Cindy and Bill Simon Technology Academy H94.74%
Foshay Learning Center94.70%
Animo Pat Brown94.52%
Aspire Pacific Academy94.44%
Alliance Ouchi-O'Donovan 6-12 Complex94.26%
Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High94.25%
Oscar De La Hoya Animo Charter High93.92%
Animo Venice Charter High93.70%
Alliance Leichtman-Levine Family Foundation Enviro92.50%
PUC Triumph Charter Academy and PUC Triumph Charte92.50%
Alliance Marc & Eva Stern Math and Science91.67%
Alliance Morgan McKinzie High90.48%
RFK Community Schools-for the Visual Arts and Huma89.39%
Alliance Tennenbaum Family Technology High88.64%
Cesar E. Chavez Learning Academies-Social Justice88.24%
Alliance Health Services Academy High87.76%
Augustus F. Hawkins High A Critical Design and Gam87.32%
RFK Community Schools-Los Angeles High School of t87.06%
Social Justice Leadership Academy at Esteban E. To87.06%
Math, Science, & Technology Magnet Academy at Roos86.73%
Downtown Business High86.55%
Thirty-Second Street USC Performing Arts85.37%
Alliance Susan and Eric Smidt Technology High84.85%
RFK Community Schools-UCLA Community K-1284.55%
Animo Watts College Preparatory Academy84.48%
Animo Jackie Robinson High84.11%
Synergy Quantum Academy83.90%
King/Drew Medical Magnet High83.57%
Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies83.11%
Orthopaedic Hospital82.70%
Los Angeles Academy of Arts & Enterprise Charter82.14%
School of Business and Tourism at Contreras Learni81.65%
Ivy Academia81.25%
Middle College High79.44%
STEM Academy at Bernstein High78.42%
Larchmont Charter78.26%
Student Empowerment Academy78.26%
North Valley Military Institute College Preparator78.26%
Los Angeles Teacher Preparatory Academy77.78%
Los Angeles River at Sonia Sotomayor Learning Acad77.50%
Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathema76.79%
Discovery Charter Preparatory #276.27%
International Studies Learning Center at Legacy Hi76.15%
Humanitas Academy of Art and Technology at Esteban76.00%
Los Angeles Leadership Academy73.53%
Linda Esperanza Marquez High B LIBRA Academy73.38%
Bright Star Secondary Charter Academy73.21%
Alliance Gertz-Ressler Richard Merkin 6-12 Complex72.95%
Academy of Medical Arts at Carson High72.73%
Augustus F. Hawkins High B Community Health Advoca72.60%
Academy of Science and Engineering72.46%
Hollywood Senior High72.40%
Public Service Community at Diego Rivera Learning71.43%
New Designs Charter School-Watts71.43%
Santee Education Complex71.07%
Vaughn Next Century Learning Center70.90%
Magnolia Science Academy 270.83%
Communication and Technology at Diego Rivera Learn70.48%
Valley Alternative Magnet70.21%
Granada Hills Charter High69.95%
Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies69.64%
RFK Community Schools-Ambassador-Global Leadership69.62%
CHAMPS - Charter HS of Arts-Multimedia & Performin69.47%
Renaissance Arts Academy69.05%
Arleta High69.01%
Contreras Learning Center-Los Angeles School of Gl68.89%
Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing68.42%
Palisades Charter High68.21%
University Senior High68.16%
Animo Ralph Bunche Charter High68.09%
Linda Esperanza Marquez High A Huntington Park Ins67.61%
East Los Angeles Renaissance Academy at Esteban E.67.57%
Academies of Education and Empowerment at Carson H67.24%
John Marshall Senior High67.18%
Manual Arts Senior High66.56%
Port of Los Angeles High65.91%
Northridge Academy High65.58%
School of History and Dramatic Arts at Sonia Sotom65.17%
Bell Senior High64.85%
Eagle Rock High64.84%
James A. Garfield Senior High64.76%
South East High64.72%
WESM Health/Sports Medicine64.54%
Daniel Pearl Journalism & Communications Magnet64.52%
Valley Academy of Arts and Sciences64.09%
Rancho Dominguez Preparatory63.01%
Belmont Senior High62.57%
Los Angeles Senior High62.42%
Esteban Torres East LA Performing Arts Magnet62.00%
Phineas Banning Senior High61.95%
Woodrow Wilson Senior High61.56%
High Tech LA61.25%
Augustus F. Hawkins High C Responsible Indigenous61.11%
Huntington Park Senior High61.06%
Engineering and Technology Academy at Esteban E. T60.76%
Alexander Hamilton Senior High60.64%
New Millennium Secondary60.47%
John H. Francis Polytechnic60.44%
Van Nuys Senior High60.38%
Performing Arts Community at Diego Rivera Learning60.32%
West Adams Preparatory High60.27%
Susan Miller Dorsey Senior High60.25%
Abraham Lincoln Senior High60.15%
Grover Cleveland Charter High59.66%
Venice Senior High59.43%
Visual and Performing Arts at Legacy High School C59.42%
Elizabeth Learning Center59.15%
East Valley Senior High58.99%
South Gate Senior High58.79%
Fairfax Senior High58.64%
Contreras Learning Center-Academic Leadership Comm57.95%
Carson Senior High57.23%
Edward R. Roybal Learning Center56.86%
Sylmar Senior High56.72%
Benjamin Franklin Senior High56.62%
Thomas Jefferson Senior High56.09%
John F. Kennedy High55.79%
North Hollywood Senior High55.22%
San Fernando Senior High54.83%
Hilda L. Solis Learning Academy School of Technolo53.95%
Verdugo Hills Senior High53.36%
Crenshaw Science, Technology, Engineering, Math an53.15%
Robert Fulton College Preparatory52.94%
Linda Esperanza Marquez High C School of Social Ju52.78%
Maywood Academy High52.69%
Nathaniel Narbonne Senior High52.64%
Animo College Preparatory Academy52.38%
Cesar E. Chavez Learning Academies-Academy of Scie51.52%
Reseda Senior High51.44%
Green Design at Diego Rivera Learning Complex50.60%
Cesar E. Chavez Learning Academies-Teacher Prepara50.43%
Dr. Maya Angelou Community High50.00%
Theodore Roosevelt Senior High49.66%
Birmingham Community Charter High49.25%
Alain Leroy Locke College Preparatory Academy48.85%
San Pedro Senior High48.70%
El Camino Real Charter High45.88%
Helen Bernstein High45.83%
Felicitas and Gonzalo Mendez High45.18%
APEX Academy45.10%
Canoga Park Senior High44.48%
Sylmar Biotech Health Academy43.21%
Gardena Senior High43.02%
Panorama High42.62%
Taft Charter High42.11%
Humanities and Arts (HARTS) Academy of Los Angeles41.98%
Cesar E. Chavez Learning Academy - Arts/Theatre/En41.67%
George Washington Preparatory High41.20%
Chatsworth Charter High40.63%
Ulysses S. Grant Senior High39.62%
James Monroe High39.61%
John C. Fremont Senior High39.55%
Sun Valley High38.20%
David Starr Jordan Senior High34.42%
Academy for Multilingual Arts and Science at Mervy32.28%
Environmental and Social Policy Magnet30.43%
Leadership in Entertainment and Media Arts (LEMA)29.09%
USC Hybrid High15.73%
View Park Continuation11.11%
Richard A. Alonzo Community Day11.11%
Cheviot Hills Continuation8.33%
Thomas Riley High6.45%
Ramona Opportunity High6.25%
Henry David Thoreau Continuation6.25%
Will Rogers Continuation6.02%
City of Angels5.39%
Frida Kahlo High4.26%
San Antonio Continuation3.92%
William J. Johnston Community Day3.33%
Phoenix Continuation3.13%
Odyssey Continuation3.13%
Robert H. Lewis Continuation2.86%
Jane Addams Continuation2.63%
Independence Continuation2.13%
Youth Opportunities Unlimited1.02%
Early College Academy-LA Trade Tech College0.99%
Central High0.84%
Los Angeles Unified Alternative Education0.00%
Harold McAlister High (Opportunity)0.00%
William Tell Aggeler Opportunity High0.00%
Pacific Boulevard0.00%

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