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An in-depth look at our region's emerging economic, social, political and cultural identity.

Charlotte Area Charters Receive More F's Than A's

John D. Simmons
Charlotte Observer

Some CMS schools perform extremely well, while others struggle. The same is true with charter schools throughout the Charlotte area. But compared with CMS, charters received a lower rate of As and a higher rate of Fs on this year's school performance grades. 

Nearly a quarter of charter schools in the Charlotte area received Fs. Compare that to just 3 percent of CMS schools. Most of those eight charter schools cater to students from low-income families that struggle. The state closed two of them, Crossroads and Kennedy, last year partly because of several years of low test scores.   

Community School of Davidson and nearby Pine Lake Prep are among four charter schools that received As or A-pluses.  About a third of Charlotte area charters earned As or Bs, compared to 40-percent of CMS schools.   

The letter grades measure how well students perform on state standardized tests. But they also factor in growth, namely how much students grow over the year. So that schools with students who score low but make big gains can get a boost and schools with students who enter at grade-level, but don't improve much can lower a school's grade. 

Charter schools in the Charlotte area were twice as likely not to make growth as CMS schools with about a third of them falling short.  

Lisa Worf traded the Midwest for Charlotte in 2006 to take a job at WFAE. She worked with public TV in Detroit and taught English in Austria before making her way to radio. Lisa graduated from University of Chicago with a bachelor’s degree in English.