- The Washington Times - Monday, November 16, 2009

A snapshot of charter schools

The national demand for public charter schools remains strongest in urban areas, according to a new report by the D.C.-based National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

The report, which used audited enrollments from school year 2008-09, also found:

• New Orleans remains No. 1 in market-share percentage: Not only are New Orleans charters serving the highest percentage of public school students - 57 percent - but they are also the highest-performing sector of public schools in the city. The city’s public schools as a whole are outperforming the pre-Hurricane Katrina system.

• Charter growth remains strong: There are 14 communities where more than 20 percent of public-school students are enrolled in charters, up from six in 2005-06. Seventy-two communities have at least 10 percent of public-school students in charter schools, 27 more than three years ago.

• Ten school districts enroll 22 percent of charter students: The 10 districts with the largest number of charter students represent 22 percent of the nationwide public charter population - 304,494 students out of roughly 1.4 million.

• More than one-third of public school students are in charters in three cities: Detroit at 32 percent, D.C. at 36 percent and New Orleans at 57 percent.

• The top 10 charters with the largest market share: New Orleans, 57 percent; Washington, 36 percent; Detroit, 32 percent; Kansas City, Mo., 29 percent; Dayton, Ohio, 27 percent; Youngstown, Ohio, 26 percent; St. Louis, Mo., 25 percent; Flint, Mich., 24 percent; Gary, Ind., 23 percent; Phoenix Union High School District in Ariz., 22 percent; and Minneapolis, Minn., 22 percent.

• The top 10 communities with the greatest number of students enrolled in public charters: Los Angeles, 59,122; Detroit, 43,035; Philadelphia, 32,579; Houston, 29,889; Chicago, 28,973; Washington, 25,729; Miami-Dade County, 23,865; New York, 21,367; New Orleans, 20,068; and Broward County, Fla., 19,867.

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