Monday, June 15, 2009

Study Casts Doubt on Charter School Results

Check out the full report"Multiple Choice: Charter School Performance in 16 States"mentioned in this article.


By Lesli A. Maxwell | Ed Week
June 15, 2009

A national study released today casts doubt on whether the academic performance of students in charter schools is any better than that of their peers in regular public schools.

Looking at 2,403 charter schools in 15 states and the District of Columbia, researchers at Stanford University found that students in more than 80 percent of charter schools either performed the same as—or worse than—students in traditional public schools on mathematics tests.

Specifically, researchers at the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford found that:

• Thirty-seven percent of the taxpayer-funded but largely independent schools posted gains that were “significantly below” what their students would have realized if they had enrolled in their local traditional public schools instead.

• Forty-six percent of charters produced learning gains that were indistinguishable from their local public schools’.

• Seventeen percent of charters posted growth that exceeded that of their regular public school equivalents by a “significant amount.”

“If this study shows anything, it shows that we’ve got a two-to-one margin of bad charters to good charters,” said Margaret E. Raymond, the director of the center and the study’s lead author. “That’s a red flag.”

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