Dear Friends:

A new study is out this week reporting charter schools offer a better return on investment compared to traditional public schools. I agree, and 21st Century Charter School in Gary, Indiana is no exception.

In May, 27% of our graduates will receive a one-year college career certification (nine students) and/or a two-year college associate degree (nine other students) before they graduate from our high school. Yes, these 18 students will participate in two graduation ceremonies–one at Ivy Tech Community College on May 11, and the other at our high school on May 20. As for the rest of our graduating class, they each earned an average of 19 college credits while in our high school. Pretty darn good! Each credit earned represents not only knowledge gained, but experienc and confidence gained, too. And next year’s class is even better!

To put this in perspective, I did some digging and found that only 5.4% of Black graduates in Indiana in 2017 (the latest year data is available) passed one AP exam while in high school. And only 18.3% of all Indiana high school graduates in 2017 passed one AP exam. We have 100% of our 2019 graduating class earning at least three college credits with each earning an average of 19 real college credits on a real college campus.

Is that a good return on investment for the taxpayer? I think so. Remember, we are open enrollment and every college credit and/or career certification is earned free of charge to the student. What if every high school in the country could say they have 27% of their graduating class earning an associate degree (two years of college) and/or a career certification (one full year of college career technical study) while in high school? Yes, it can be done.

We’re just getting started! It’s fun changing the world together!