Twin Cities charter schools more segregated and underperforming, report says

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Charter schools in the Twin Cities metro area underperform academically in comparison to their traditional public counterparts, shows a report released today by University of Minnesota researchers.

The Twin Cities area’s 30,000 charter school students score 7.5 percentage points lower on math testing and 4.4 percent lower on reading tests than students at traditional public schools, according to the report from the University of Minnesota Law School’s Institute on Race and Poverty.

“If you look at the total group, they’re underperforming the public schools significantly and a lot of the ones who are serving the poorest kids are not only doing very badly, but not lasting very long,” said Myron Orfield, the institute’s director.

But the data doesn’t faze charter school advocates who believe their schools provide an important education alternative.