A charter school advocacy group said Thursday that charter schools in Louisiana rank second nationally in growth, performance and innovation.

The review was done by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, a nonprofit group in Washington, D.C.

It used 11 measures to rate the “health” of the charter school movement in 26 states.

The District of Columbia was rated tops nationally with 104 of 116 possible points.

Louisiana was listed second with 85 points followed by Michigan, New Jersey and New York.

Another 17 states with charter laws were not rated.

Charter schools are public schools run by nongovernmental boards.

The same group said earlier that about 59,000 students attend 117 of the schools in Louisiana, and New Orleans is considered a national leader in the movement.

It said in January that the state is third-best nationally in laws that govern its charter schools.

The latest review said 71 charter schools opened in Louisiana between 2009-10 and 2013-14.

The study said that, according to a review by Stanford University, charter school students here showed academic growth higher than those in traditional public schools between 2007-08 and 2010-11.

The schools also serve a higher percentage of students who qualify for free and reduced lunches than their traditional counterparts, according to the review.

The 11 measures used to rate states include geographic distribution of the schools, openings and closings in the past five years and innovative practices, like extended school days.

Backers say charter schools offer innovative alternatives to other classrooms, especially for students trapped in low-rated school districts.

Critics contend the schools have failed to deliver on promised improvements and drain needed dollars from traditional classrooms.

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