Stanford University study: Urban charter schools outperform public peers

29 Mar

Moi supports neighborhood schools which cater to the needs of the children and families in that neighborhood. A one-size-fits-all approach does not work in education. It is for this reason that moi supports charter schools which are regulated by strong charter school legislation with accountability. Accountability means different things to different people. In 2005 Sheila A. Arens wrote Examining the Meaning of Accountability: Reframing the Construct for Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning which emphasizes the involvement of parents and community members. One of the goals of the charter movement is to involve parents and communities.
Business Week has a concise debate about the pros and cons of charter schools featuring Jay P. Greene, University of Arkansas; Manhattan Institute arguing the pro position and Jeffrey Henig, Columbia University arguing against charter schools. http://www.businessweek.com/debateroom/archives/2008/03/charter_schools.html The Education Commission of the States succinctly lists the pros and cons of charter schools http://www.ecs.org/html/issuesection.asp?issueid=20&s=pros+%26+cons

Abby Jackson reported in the Business Insider article, The results of a new Stanford University study could surprise charter school critics:

Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) has a new study out finding urban charter schools outperform traditional public schools (TPS) in urban areas.
The results are the latest in mounting evidence that many charter schools provide tremendous benefit to students — particularly those located in urban areas.
“The charter school sector has gotten to a point of maturity where it’s dominated by established charters that have stood the test of time and are operating a lot more efficiently and effectively for kids, and so we’re starting to see now this general positive impact of charters on student achievement,” Patrick Wolf, PH.D., a distinguished professor in the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas, told Business Insider…. http://www.businessinsider.com/the-results-of-a-new-stanford-university-study-should-quiet-charter-school-critics-2015-3#ixzz3Vpm3kUip

Here is the press release from Stanford:

CREDO Study Finds Urban Charter Schools Outperform Traditional School Peers
STANFORD, Calif. – March 18, 2015 – Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO), the nation’s foremost independent analyst of charter school effectiveness, released today a comprehensive Urban Charter Schools Report and 22 state-specific reports that combine to offer policymakers unprecedented insight into the effectiveness of charter schools.
“One of our largest research efforts to date, this study targets our focus on charter schools in urban areas because these are communities where students have faced significant education challenges and are in great need of effective approaches to achieve academic success,” said Dr. Margaret Raymond, director of CREDO at Stanford University. “This research shows that many urban charter schools are providing superior academic learning for their students, in many cases quite dramatically better. These findings offer important examples of school organization and operation that can serve as models to other schools, including both public charter schools and traditional public schools.”
Across 41 regions, urban charter schools on average achieve significantly greater student success in both math and reading, which amounts to 40 additional days of learning growth in math and 28 days of additional growth in reading. Compared to the national profile of charter school performance, urban charters produce more positive results. CREDO’s National Charter School Study results in 2013 found that charter schools provided seven additional days of learning per year in reading and no significant difference in math.
Similar to the results in the National Charter School Study in 2013, the Urban Charter School report found local variation in the results. Across the 41 regions, more than twice as many urban regions show their charter schools outpacing their district school counterparts than regions where charter school results lag behind them. Despite the overall positive learning impacts, there are still urban communities in which the majority of the charter schools have smaller learning gains compared to their traditional school counterparts.
Summary of urban charter regions
MATH
• 26 urban charter sectors have positive impacts
• 11 urban charter sectors have smaller learning gains
• 4 urban charter sectors provide similar levels of growth. READING
• 23 urban charter sectors have positive impacts
• 10 urban charter sectors have smaller learning gains
• 8 urban charter sectors provide similar levels of growth
The Center for Research on Education Outcomes
434 Galvez Mall, Stanford, CA 94305-6010
Telephone: 650.725.3431

Here is an overview of the study:

Overview of the Urban Charter School Study
Welcome to the digital report of the Urban Charter School Study. This website has been developed to host the results of CREDO’s study of charter schools in 41 urban communities in the United States. This overview introduces the approach of the research project and explains the layout of the reports that are available on this site.
Through our valued data sharing partnerships with state education agencies across the country, CREDO has a unique opportunity to look at the urban landscape of charter schooling. Since urban education is a topic of strong concern among parents and policy makers, we hope a concentrated study of the presence and performance of charter schools in urban settings can provide a useful contribution to on-going efforts to successfully educate all urban K-12 students.
Moreover, we recognize that a study of this type will attract different kinds of interest — some more global and some decidedly local in scope. The reports on this site aim to maximize access to the full set of analytic findings in a manner that would not be possible in a traditionally-formatted report. All the reports are created as Adobe Acrobat .pdf files to ensure universal compatibility. (If a download of Adobe Acrobat is needed, click here.)
The Urban Charter School Study covers 41 urban communities in 22 states, which were chosen on the basis of a set of criteria described in the Technical Appendix. The study found that the typical student in an urban charter school receives the equivalent of 40 additional days of learning growth (0.055 s.d.’s) in math and 28 days of additional growth (0.039 s.d.’s) in reading compared to their matched peers in TPS. The results were found to be positive for nearly all student subgroups, but especially strong for students who are minority and in poverty, who are a signficant portion of the urban student population. These national findings are presented in the Urban Charter School Study Executive Summary and in graphic form in the Urban Charter School Study Workbook.
The results also show there is surprising variation in the performance or charter schools in differing urban communities. We developed individual in-depth reports for the urban regions included in the national analysis. These region-specific results are grouped by state and are presented in a Demographic Landscape slide deck and a Charter School Impacts slide deck. A User’s Guide is available to walk the user through the Impact slides and explain how each question was answered. http://urbancharters.stanford.edu/overview.php

There is no one approach that works in every situation, there is only what works to address the needs of a particular population of children. If the goal is that ALL children receive a good basic education, then ALL options must be available.

Resources:

1. YouTube Link of Professor Carolyn Hoxby Discussing Charters

2. PBS Frontline – The Battle Over School Choice

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/vouchers/howbad/crisis.html

3. WSJ’s opinion piece about charters and student performance

http://www.wsj.com/article_email/SB10001424052970204488304574429203296812582-lMyQjAxMDA5MDIwNTEyNDUyWj.html

4. Charter School Students More Likely to Graduate and Attend College

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090318104332.htm

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