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Washington State Charter Public Schools Excel in 2022-2023 Smarter Balanced Assessments

In Math, English, and Science, Charter Public School Students from Diverse Backgrounds Surpass Statewide Peers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 28, 2023
Contact: Maggie Meyers at or 724-263-9826

WASHINGTON — New data from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) released by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) in September 2023 reveals that Washington State charter public schools are making significant strides in academic performance. Notably, they outpace their statewide peers, especially among Black, Latinx, and low-income students. The SBAC assessments, administered annually to students in grades 3-8 and 10, provide critical insights into student academic growth and readiness for college-level work.

Between the 2020-2021 and 2022-2023 academic years, charter public school students in Washington State have made significant strides in academic recovery from the impact of COVID-19. Their proficiency in English Language Arts (ELA) has increased by 6%, and in math by 15%. These gains are double the state’s average improvement of 3% in ELA and significantly exceed the state’s 9% improvement in math, bringing charter public school students closer to pre-COVID levels of achievement.

Washington State’s charter public schools are free, open to all, and have the flexibility to meet the unique needs of their students. The latest SBAC results highlight that charter public schools in Washington State are essential to a public education system that helps every student find their path to a successful future. More than just statistics, these results mark meaningful advancements toward improving the educational landscape across the state, particularly for systemically underserved communities.

According to the SBAC data, Black and Latinx students in charter public schools are three times (40% vs. 13%) and twice (38% vs. 19%) as likely, respectively, to meet math proficiency standards compared to their peers in district schools. In English Language Arts, Black and Latinx charter public school students are approximately 1.5 times as likely to meet proficiency standards than their peers in traditional public schools. Moreover, 72% of low-income students in charter public schools met proficiency standards in math, ELA, and science, outpacing their counterparts in traditional public schools. In Washington State public charter schools, the rate of multilingual language learners and students with disabilities achieving proficiency is double that of their peers in traditional public schools in math, ELA, and science.

Natalie Hester, Co-President of External Affairs at Washington State Charter School Association, stated, “We are inspired by these results. These figures affirm the promise of community-rooted, student-centered charter public schools that are both accountable and flexible, highlighting their importance within the broader education system.”

Academic Excellence and Equitable Opportunities

In the recent data, there were several notable achievements. At certain charter public schools, student proficiency exceeded 70% in various subjects. Specifically, this includes 5th and 7th grades at Spokane International Academy, as well as 10th grade at Summit Atlas. Math scores at Pullman Community Montessori nearly doubled from last year, while Summit Olympus high schoolers more than doubled their math scores.

For more information and detailed statistics on the academic performance of Washington State charter public schools, please visit our public data dashboard at Washington Public School Data.

About the Washington State Charter School Association

The Washington State Charter School Association is the leading non-profit organization advancing high-impact, student-centered charter public schools in Washington State. Founded in 2012 following the approval of a ballot measure, we represent a network of 18 tuition-free, open-to-all, non-sectarian schools serving over 5,200 students. Under the strict oversight of four state agencies, including the school board, the State Board of Education, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, and the State Auditor, we aim to provide equitable access to quality education. Our member schools serve a diverse population; 62% are students of color and 52% come from low-income households.

Our mission embodies the belief that every student deserves a fair opportunity and a path to a successful future. Washington’s charter public schools, by delivering proven results and offering flexibility to meet individual student needs, serve as a vital component in fulfilling this mission. We are committed to making these innovative educational options accessible and fairly funded for all communities across Washington State.