The voice of California’s charter school movement

10 Exceptional Charter Schools Share Key Practices for Producing College and Career Bound Students

By CCSA Staff

The 2024 Portrait of the Movement: How California’s Charter Public Schools Are Preparing Students for College and Career focuses on ten exceptional charter public schools – and five innovative practices – which are helping to send significantly more historically disadvantaged students to four-year colleges or prepping them for careers compared to the state average.

The Portrait of the Movement (POM) is CCSA's annual report that offers a comprehensive look at how charter public schools are innovating and responding to a high-priority issue in California's K-12 system.

For 2024, CCSA researchers posed this key question:

What innovative practices are California’s charter public schools using to increase access to college and career for postsecondary success?

To find answers, CCSA dived into state school performance data and discovered there are 135 charter schools that consistently send a higher proportion of their low-income, Black, and Latino graduates to four-year colleges than the state average.

Within this group, researchers then identified a subset of ten exceptional charter schools that either have the highest college-going rate to UCs or CSUs or the highest CTE-completion rates compared to the state average. The ten charter public schools highlighted in the 2024 POM are:

After conducting interviews with educators of each school, CCSA researchers were then able to distill five common practices that ensure all students at these schools can access a four-year college or career. The key practices are:

  1. Set a clear intentionality of purpose to ensure college and career access.
  2. Embed college and career prep into school schedules and curriculum.
  3. Continually build awareness of college and career options.
  4. Remove hurdles to increase access to college and career.
  5. Track college and career data for continuous improvement.

The 2024 POM is filled with incredible data, real-world examples, interviews, and recommendations that are designed to build the knowledge and capacity of public school leaders in California K-12 system.

In addition, it offers statewide data about how charter schools, overall, are preparing students for college and career, especially historically disadvantaged students. Two key takeaways:

  • California charter public schools are sending more than double the percentage of English learners and students with disabilities to UC and CSU campuses as compared to the public school average.

  • The college-going rate is even higher among site-based charters which are sending nearly triple the percentage of English learners and students with disabilities to UCs and CSUs as compared to the public school average.

Click the link to download and share the 2024 Portrait of the Movement!