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Massachusetts Charter Schools

Massachusetts Charter School Waitlist Report for 2014-2015

This annual report provides information regarding students on charter school waitlists for admission for the 2014-2015 school year. For more information on waitlist policy and procedures and the number of students found on previous cycles of charter school waitlists, see last year's two reports: July 2013 Download Word Document and May 2014 Download Word Document.

The Department requested the submission of 2014-2015 waitlist data in March 2014. Charter school waitlist data are recorded and maintained through each school's own mechanisms, separate from their student information management systems (SIMs). Accordingly, the Department collected the data through the upload of spreadsheet files using its security portal. Seventy-six of the 84 charter schools submitted data. Of the eight charter schools that did not submit data, six did not have a sufficient number of applicants to require a waitlist. Match Charter Public School submitted a combined waitlist with Match Community Day Charter Public School, since both schools will be operated as the consolidated Match Charter Public School as of July 1, 2014. The remaining school has an extended planning period and is set to open FY16.

The Department's Education Data Services Office conducted the matching process, using students' names (first, middle, last), dates of birth, towns of residence, and grades. Partial matches were manually reviewed to identify obvious data entry errors, such as transposition of digits in dates of birth1.

The 76 waitlists that were submitted contained 58,906 entries, distributed by grade as shown in this table:

GradeNumber of Students
PK3,009
K6,553
15,254
25,436
35,331
44,077
56,834
66,233
74,351
83,376
95,621
101,313
11986
12517
No grade215
Total58,906

The matching process identified 44,876 students within the 58,906 entries. Of these 44,876 students, 7,526 students (16.7%) appeared on more than one waitlist:

Number of Students (N)Number of Waitlists A
Student Appears On (W)
Total Entries of All
Waitlists (W * N)
37,350137,350
4,09328,186
1,90135,703
79043,160
36651,830
17361,038
997693
508400
269234
1010100
91199
51260
31339
11414
44,876Total58,906

It is important to note that not every student on a charter school waitlist would accept an offer of admission if it were proffered. Some students may have been admitted to other schools that meet their needs, while others may be reluctant to switch schools after the beginning of the school year. Therefore, the number of students found on each charter school's waitlist may not accurately represent the number of students actively waiting for enrollment to that school. This is particularly true for those charter schools that carry their waitlists from one year to the next, so that students can remain on the waitlist for several years.3 It is impossible to quantify this factor without making speculative and arbitrary assumptions, which we have chosen not to do. As a result, the unduplicated waitlist counts should be taken as rough approximations of demand rather than exact numbers.

This report will be updated in the fall after Oct. 1, 2014. The Department continues to explore other methods for collecting waitlist information because the current collection process requires significant resources from both the charter schools and the Department.

The appendix to this report can be found in the attached Excel file, which contains:

  1. the total and unduplicated numbers of students on waitlists for charter schools by city and town;
  2. the total and unduplicated numbers of students on waitlists for each charter school; and
  3. the total and unduplicated cross-tabulation breakdown of the number of students on waitlists for each charter school by each city and town.

For further information regarding this report, please contact charterschools@doe.mass.edu.

Attachment

Download Excel Document
Appendix

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Last Updated: March 3, 2014
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