I hope you’ve found some time to rest and relax with your family this summer season.
We are busy preparing for the upcoming school year, and the opening of 10 new schools, four in the Rio Grande Valley, and six in San Antonio – the most new school openings in IDEA’s history. We are excited about onboarding our new families and welcoming our new staff.
Today I am writing to share the results of a recently released study conducted by Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO). The comprehensive report identifies IDEA Public Schools as one of the highest performing public school networks in the country, delivering the equivalent of 80 extra days in math and 74 days in reading instruction per year. And in turn, it highlights the significant gains IDEA scholars are making in subjects like reading and math.
This nationwide analysis used data from the 2011-12 to 2014-15 school years and assessed hundreds of charter schools across 24 states, New York City and Washington, DC. Among other things, the study examined the academic growth of charter school students by identifying which ones do the best job of getting kids to excel in reading and math.
The study also points out that students in their first year at a charter school have weaker growth than their TPS (Traditional Public School) peers. The trend reverses in the second year, often becoming significantly positive. CREDO’s study goes on to say that annual growth improves the longer students remain in charter schools. We see this dynamic play out in our schools.
Every year IDEA welcomes between 7,000 to 10,000 new students in grades PK to 12, across its schools in the Rio Grande Valley, Austin and San Antonio. Many of these students are one to three grade levels behind. IDEA bridges this academic gap in two ways: through excellent teaching, and an increased focus and time in core subjects like math and reading. Even our most struggling students show significant academic growth year-over-year and ultimately graduate ready for post-secondary education. The end result for the past 11 years has been 100 percent of students accepted to colleges and universities throughout the nation.
Overall, the findings of the study show that networks, like IDEA Public Schools, that are achieving significant and positive growth for its students can serve as a model for best practices that drive and increase academic achievement.
We are immensely proud of our staff, teachers, and school leaders who day in and day out ensure that our more than 36,000 students receive a rigorous education that prepares them for college and beyond.
To download a copy of CREDO’s study, visit: http://credo.stanford.edu. I look forward to sharing more successes with you in the coming months.