Los Angeles, Orange County campuses have 2 slots in new charter school quality report

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Los Angeles County’s 200 charter schools are the biggest concentration, by far, in California. One L.A. County charter made it onto the top 10 list in a new report released Wednesday that examines the quality of charters in the state.

The USC School of Education study surveys the academic performance and financial health of California’s 800-plus charter schools. Researchers detail whether individual campuses are setting aside reserve money and whether they’re spending it in the classroom. The study also ranks schools by test scores and by their success at improving students’ math and English scores.

Wilder’s Preparatory Academy in Inglewood brought up the rear on the study’s top 10 list of charter high performers. The Orange County High School of the Arts ranked seventh. Nearly all the high performers had low populations of students whose first language isn’t English.

The president of the California Charter Schools Association welcomed the report as another source of information for parents. Charters are publicly funded campuses independent of school district control. Studies that indicate high-performing charters are the exception, not the rule, have weighed down charter advocates’ bold promises in recent years.