Report shows demographic diversity throughout Indiana's charter schools

Topics: Administrative, Teachers College

January 11, 2007

Holmes Finch
Holmes Finch
A recent report released by Ball State's Office of Charter School Research (OCSR), shows demographic diversity among students enrolled in Indiana's charter schools during the 2005-06 school year.

The research indicates that the majority of charter schools in Indiana have high minority enrollment, often exceeding 60 percent, as well as a large number of students living in poverty, with almost half of all students qualifying for free or reduced lunch. Additional data collected shows that 10 percent of students enrolled in charter schools have some type of disability that requires special education services.

"Many students who enroll in a charter school already have a significant amount of academic ground to make up," said Holmes Finch, director of charter school research. "This data helps to identify some of the social and academic challenges that are being faced by Indiana's charter schools today, in order to continue working on improving academic success within Indiana's charter schools."

Results of the report were based upon complete data available to the OCSR during the 2005-06 academic year from 28 of the state's 37 charter schools in operation. Of these schools, 19 are authorized by Ball State, 15 by the Indianapolis Mayor's office and three by local school districts. 

This report, along with a report published last month that found academic improvements by charter school students in Indiana based upon ISTEP+ scores in mathematics and language arts, can be found online at www.bsu.edu/teachers/ocsr.

In 2001 the Indiana General Assembly approved legislation allowing four-year public universities, public school districts and the mayor of Indianapolis to sponsor charter schools. Ball State is the only university authorizing charter schools in Indiana, with 19 in operation and two more to open in the fall of 2007. As a public charter schools authorizer, Ball State does not run the schools but reserves the right to rescind a charter if a school fails to meet performance standards.

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