Charter-school kids continued to outperform their traditional public-school classmates in three of the four categories tested in social studies and science, new data obtained by The Post show.
But the numbers also show that public-school kids made slightly larger strides in performance in 2010 compared to 2009 than did charter-school students.
Two-thirds of charter-school kids were proficient in eighth-grade social studies in 2010 — more than 18 percentage points above the proficiency rate in traditional public schools.
The gap was nearly as large in eighth-grade science, where 68.4 percent of charter-school kids score proficiently, compared to 54.4 percent of public-school students.
In fourth-grade science, nearly 90 percent of charter-schoolers scored proficiently, compared with 82 percent of traditional public-school kids.
But traditional public-school kids managed to best the charter-school average in fifth-grade social studies. with a passing rate of 78.6 percent — 4.9 percentage points higher than the charter-school students.
“Unlike the traditional schools, [my kids] are getting science and social studies five days a week,” said Jeff Litt, superintendent of the Carl Icahn charter schools in The Bronx.
All 28 eighth-graders at the Icahn Charter School 1 scored proficiently in both social studies and science, as did all the eighth-graders at the two unrelated Harlem Village Academies schools.
“Most schools have social studies twice a week or science twice a week because they’re so focused on [reading] and math,” said Litt. “But we’re not going to neglect one subject to put emphasis on another, because that’s shortchanging the child.”
Charter-school advocates have often credited the longer school day and school year as reasons why their kids can get extra lessons in social studies and science — subjects that don’t get nearly the amount of attention as math and reading.
Much of the city’s grading system of elementary and middle schools depends on math and reading scores, while science plays a small role in the state and federal government’s accountability systems.
But the state has even gone as far as eliminating its annual testing in social studies this year because of a shortage of funds to administer them — worrying some educators that the subject will get even shorter shrift in coming years.
The high performance in the two subjects was good news to charter-school operators, whose students took a bigger hit on math and reading scores last year than did their counterparts in traditional schools after changes to the scoring.
After the state reset the passing bar on its annual reading tests, charter-school proficiency rates bombed from 77 percent in 2009 to 43 percent proficiency last year.
Traditional schools also fell considerably, but not as far, from a passing rate of 69 percent to 42 percent.