The voice of California’s charter school movement

Asian American and Pacific Islander Charter School Students

By William Lee

California's Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) population has witnessed remarkable growth over the years. Home to the largest AAPI population in the United States, the state hosts over 6.7 million AAPI individuals, constituting a significant 30% of the nation's AAPI population. This community's educational journey is a fascinating and complex one, marked by diversity and resilience. 

CCSA's latest report, Charter Public School Students in Focus: Asian American & Pacific Islanders, takes a snapshot of the 2021-2022 school year for California charter public schools and underscores the unique role that charter public schools play in California's AAPI communities.

Highlights detailed in the report include:

  • 43% of AAPI students in charter public schools are socioeconomically disadvantaged, compared  to 38% in traditional public schools (TPS).
  • Low-income Asian, Filipino, and Pacific Islander students in charter public schools outperform their TPS counterparts in both ELA and Math, on average
  • In charter public schools, AAPI students that are English learners (EL) or who are no longer ELs and have been reclassified as “Fluent English Proficient” (FEP) had over 40 native languages in 2021-22. The most common native languages among these students were Vietnamese, Arabic and Mandarin.
  • In the aggregate, the Asian student subgroup outperforms all other subgroups in the state on English Language Arts (ELA) and Math tests, college and career readiness, and college access, and the Filipino subgroup performs similarly well compared to other subgroups.