Tag Archives: National Education Policy Center

National Education Policy Center study: Class size matters

24 Feb

In Battle of the studies: Does class size matter? Moi said:
There is an ongoing discussion or battle about whether class size matters in effective learning. Class size reduction theory has both supporters and skeptics. Leonie Hamson writes in the Washington Post article, 7 Class Size Myths — And the Truth There is of course, a contrary opinion. The Center for American Progress report by Mathew M. Chingos, The False Promise of Class-Size Reduction says advocates for class size reducation have not made their case.

In the Executive Summary Chingos reports:
There is surprisingly little high-quality research, however, on the effects of class size on student achievement in the United States. The credible evidence that does exist is not consistent, and there are many low-quality studies with results all over the map. The most encouraging results for CSR come from a single experiment conducted in the 1980s, which found that a large reduction in class size in the early grades increased test scores, particularly among low-income and African American students. But evaluations of large-scale CSR policies in California and Florida have yielded much less positive results, perhaps because of the need to hire so many (inexperienced and potentially less effective) new teachers. http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/education/report/2011/04/14/9526/the-false-promise-of-class-size-reduction/

Chingos does not believe the advocates for smaller class size have made their case.

Suzy Kihmm reported in the Washington Post article, Study: Class size doesn’t matter:

Two Harvard researchers looked at the factors that actually improve student achievement and those that don’t. In a new paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research, Will Dobbie and Roland Freyer analyzed 35 charter schools, which generally have greater flexibility in terms of school structure and strategy. They found that traditionally emphasized factors such as class size made little difference, compared with some new criteria:
We find that traditionally collected input measures — class size, per pupil expenditure, the fraction of teachers with no certification, and the fraction of teachers with an advanced degree — are not correlated with school effectiveness. In stark contrast, we show that an index of five policies suggested by over forty years of qualitative research — frequent teacher feedback, the use of data to guide instruction, high-dosage tutoring, increased instructional time, and high expectations — explains approximately 50 percent of the of the variation in school effectiveness.


As state and local budgets shrink, class size reduction is shelved in favor of increasing class size. A National Education Policy Center (NEPC) study which reviews prior studies finds class size does matter.

Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post reported in the article, Class size matters a lot, research shows:

A new review of the major research that has been conducted on class size by Northwestern University Associate Professor Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach and published by the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado Boulder makes clear that class size matters, and it matters a lot. Schanzanbach, an associate professor of human development and social policy at Northwestern and chair of the Institute for Policy Research’s Program on Child, Adolescent, and Family Studies, writes in the review:
Considering the body of research as a whole, the following policy recommendations emerge:
*Class size is an important determinant of student outcomes, and one that can be directly determined by policy. All else being equal, increasing class sizes will harm student outcomes.
* The evidence suggests that increasing class size will harm not only children’s test scores in the short run, but also their long-run human capital formation. Money saved today by increasing class sizes will result in more substantial social and educational costs in the future.
* The payoff from class-size reduction is greater for low-income and minority children, while any increases in class size will likely be most harmful to these populations.
* Policymakers should carefully weigh the efficacy of class-size policy against other potential uses of funds. While lower class size has a demonstrable cost, it may prove the more cost-effective policy overall. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/02/24/class-size-matters-a-lot-research-shows/

Here is the press release from NEPC:

Class-Size Reduction: Better Than You Think
Reference Publication:
Does Class Size Matter?
NEPC policy brief finds strong evidence for the benefits of making classes smaller
William J. Mathis, (802) 383-0058, wmathis@sover.net
Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, (847) 491-3884, dws@northwestern.edu
URL for this press release: http://tinyurl.com/k7j64z2
BOULDER, CO (February 18, 2014) – While a series of high-profile and often controversial school reforms has gotten the lion’s share of attention from policymakers over the last decade or two, one reform appears to have been consistently ignored and marginalized: reducing the size of classes.
Yet, as Professor Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach points out in a new policy brief released today, the evidence that class size reduction helps raise student achievement is strong. Schanzenbach’s report, published today by the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) at the University of Colorado Boulder, provides a comprehensive review of class-size research.
According to Professor Schanzenbach, class-size reduction has been the victim of a popular misconception that the strategy has been largely unsuccessful. One recent example, Schanzenbach notes, is the writer Malcolm Gladwell, who in a recent book describes small class sizes as a “thing we are convinced is such a big advantage [but] might not be such an advantage at all.”
In fact, she writes, the real story is just the opposite. “Class size matters,” writes Schanzenbach, an economist and education policy professor at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. “Research supports the common-sense notion that children learn more and teachers are more effective in smaller classes.”
Citing evidence from the academic literature, Schanzenbach explains that “class size is an important determinant of a variety of student outcomes ranging from test scores to broader life outcomes. Smaller classes are particularly effective at raising achievement levels of low-income and minority children.”
Conversely, she points out, raising class size can be shown to be harmful to children. “Money saved today by increasing class sizes will result in more substantial social and educational costs in the future,” she writes.
“Policymakers should carefully weigh the efficacy of class-size policy against other potential uses of funds,” Schanzenbach concludes. “While lower class size has a demonstrable cost, it may prove the more cost-effective policy overall.”
Find Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach’s report, Does Class Size Matter? on the web at:
The mission of the National Education Policy Center is to produce and disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. We are guided by the belief that the democratic governance of public education is strengthened when policies are based on sound evidence. For more information on NEPC, please visit http://nepc.colorado.edu/.
This policy brief was made possible in part by the support of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice. A copy of this brief can be found at http://greatlakescenter.org.

The battle between those who say class size matters and those who say it does not continues to simmer.


Reducing class size in an era of reduced state budgets https://drwilda.com/2012/06/16/reducing-class-size-in-an-era-of-reduced-state-budgets/

Battle of the studies: Does class size matter? https://drwilda.com/2012/01/30/battle-of-the-studies-does-class-size-matter/

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NEPC study: Virtual schools don’t deliver value to the taxpayers

7 May

Moi voiced her concern about virtual schools in Accountability in virtual schools:

Moi voiced her skepticism about for-profit online charter schools in Online for-profit K-12, good for bankers, bad for kids https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/online-for-profit-k-12-good-for-bankers-bad-for-kids/ : All children can learn. Stephanie Saul of the New York Times is reporting on the cynical operation of for-profit charter schools in the article, Profits and Questions at Online Charter Schools which describes how the dreams of some children are being hindered. 

By almost every educational measure, the Agora Cyber Charter School is failing.

Nearly 60 percent of its students are behind grade level in math. Nearly 50 percent trail in reading. A third do not graduate on time. And hundreds of children, from kindergartners to seniors, withdraw within months after they enroll.

By Wall Street standards, though, Agora is a remarkable success that has helped enrich K12 Inc., the publicly traded company that manages the school. And the entire enterprise is paid for by taxpayers.

Agora is one of the largest in a portfolio of similar public schools across the country run by K12. Eight other for-profit companies also run online public elementary and high schools, enrolling a large chunk of the more than 200,000 full-time cyberpupils in the United States.

The pupils work from their homes, in some cases hundreds of miles from their teachers. There is no cafeteria, no gym and no playground. Teachers communicate with students by phone or in simulated classrooms on the Web. But while the notion of an online school evokes cutting-edge methods, much of the work is completed the old-fashioned way, with a pencil and paper while seated at a desk.

Kids mean money. Agora is expecting income of $72 million this school year, accounting for more than 10 percent of the total anticipated revenues of K12, the biggest player in the online-school business. The second-largest, Connections Education, with revenues estimated at $190 million, was bought this year by the education and publishing giant Pearson for $400 million.

The business taps into a formidable coalition of private groups and officials promoting nontraditional forms of public education. The growth of for-profit online schools, one of the more overtly commercial segments of the school choice movement, is rooted in the theory that corporate efficiencies combined with the Internet can revolutionize public education, offering high quality at reduced cost.

The New York Times has spent several months examining this idea, focusing on K12 Inc. A look at the company’s operations, based on interviews and a review of school finances and performance records, raises serious questions about whether K12 schools — and full-time online schools in general — benefit children or taxpayers, particularly as state education budgets are being slashed.

Instead, a portrait emerges of a company that tries to squeeze profits from public school dollars by raising enrollment, increasing teacher workload and lowering standards.

Current and former staff members of K12 Inc. schools say problems begin with intense recruitment efforts that fail to filter out students who are not suited for the program, which requires strong parental commitment and self-motivated students. Online schools typically are characterized by high rates of withdrawal.

Teachers have had to take on more and more students, relaxing rigor and achievement along the way, according to interviews. While teachers do not have the burden of a full day of classes, they field questions from families, monitor students’ progress and review and grade schoolwork. Complaints about low pay and high class loads — with some high school teachers managing more than 250 students — have prompted a unionization battle at Agora, which has offices in Wayne, Pa. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/13/education/online-schools-score-better-on-wall-street-than-in-classrooms.html?emc=eta1

The Illinois Online Network has a good synopsis of the pros and cons of online education at Strengths and Weaknesses of Online Learning  K-12 for profit schools exhibit many of the deficiencies of other for-profit schools. See, For-profit colleges: Money buys government, not quality for students, https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/12/for-profit-colleges-money-buys-government-not-quality-for-students/

The National Education Policy Center (NEPC)released a study which examined virtual schools.

Here is the press release from the National Education Policy Center:

As Online Elementary and Secondary Schools Expand, Academic Performance Lags 

New NEPC Study Finds Limited Oversight, Excessive Costs of Virtual Schools Drain Millions in Public Funds


Jamie Horwitz, 202/549-4921; jhdcpr@starpower.net
Alex Molnar, 480/797-7261;

URL for this announcement: http://tinyurl.com/bpoxwmd

BOULDER, CO (May 2, 2013) –A national study, released today by the National Education Policy Center (NEPC), offers a comprehensive review of 311 full-time virtual schools operating in the United States and finds serious and systemic problems with them.

University of Colorado Boulder Professor Alex Molnar, who edited Virtual Schools in the U.S. 2013: Politics, Performance, Policy, and Research Evidence, summed it up this way: “Even a cursory review of virtual schooling in the U.S. reveals an environment much like the legendary wild west. There are outsized claims, lagging performance, intense conflicts, lots of taxpayer money at stake, and very little solid evidence to justify the rapid expansion of virtual schools.” 

Lagging Performance – Soaring Enrollment

On the publicly-available metrics of Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), virtual schools lag significantly behind traditional brick-and-mortar schools

In the 2010-2011 school year, 52 percent of brick-and-mortar district and charter schools met AYP, contrasted with 23.6 percent of virtual schools – a 28 percentage-point gap.  Virtual schools also enroll a far smaller percentage of low-income students, special education students, and English language learners than brick-and-mortar public schools.

It now appears that early adopters of the virtual school model were largely home-schoolers who were used to studying alone and who generally had lots of parental guidance,” said Western Michigan University Professor Gary Miron. “As virtual schools have expanded, it appears that their performance has slipped dramatically.”

Currently virtual schools enroll more than 200,000 elementary and secondary students in 39 states and the District of Columbia.  McLean, Virginia- based K12 Inc. is by far the largest private operator in this sector. 

Expansion Driven by Lobbying and Advertising Rather than Student Success

Despite virtual schools’ track record of students falling behind their peers academically or dropping-out at higher rates, states and districts continue to expand virtual schools and online offerings to students. 

Publicly-funded virtual school expansion appears to be driven by lobbying and advertising dollars.  It is not justified by the research evidence, nor is it governed by thoughtful policy.

Columbia University Professor Luis Huerta, another of the report’s authors, noted that,  “In the past two years a number of states, including Wisconsin, Oregon, Louisiana, and Michigan, either raised or eliminated enrollment caps for full-time virtual schools.”   Co-author Jennifer King Rice, a University of Maryland professor, points out that at the same time,  ”None of those states passed legislation strengthening accountability and oversight.”

High Cost to Taxpayers

The overall cost to taxpayers for lackluster virtual schools has been significant.  Despite incurring much lower costs than brick-and-mortar schools, virtual school operators receive the same allocation as charter schools that pay for buildings, desks, textbooks, and other costs associated with more traditional school settings.

The consistently poor performance of full-time virtual schools makes it imperative to know more about these schools. Stanford University Professor Emeritus Larry Cuban, who contributed a review of current research knowledge on virtual education to the NEPC report and has long followed education technology issues, explained: “The current climate of elementary and secondary school reform that promotes uncritical acceptance of any and all virtual education innovations is not supported by educational research. A model that is built around churn is not sustainable; the unchecked growth of virtual school is essentially an education tech bubble.”


The authors of the NEPC report conclude that continued rapid expansion of full-time cyber schools is unwise. More research is needed, and to enable such research, state oversight agencies need to require more, and better refined, data. Financial controls and funding unique to cyber schools need to be established. 

The NEPC report Virtual Schools in the U.S. 2013: Politics, Performance, Policy, and Research can be found on the web at http://nepc.colorado.edu/publication/virtual-schools-annual-2013.

Moi wrote in Should ‘Enron’ weasels be trusted with K-12 education?

The debate currently going on in society is whether education is a “public good.”

The Business Dictionary defines a “public good.”

public good


An item whose consumption is not decided by the individual consumer but by the society as a whole, and which is financed by taxation.

A public good (or service) may be consumed without reducing the amount available for others, and cannot be withheld from those who do not pay for it. Public goods (and services) include economic statistics and other information, law enforcement, national defense, parks, and other things for the use and benefit of all. No market exists for such goods, and they are provided to everyone by governments. See also good and private good

Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel Prize economist wrote KNOWLEDGE AS A GLOBAL PUBLIC GOOD:

This paper combines two concepts developed over the past quarter of century: the concept of global public goods and the notion of knowledge as a global public good.[3]

A public good has two critical properties, non-rivalrous consumption–the consumption of one individual does not detract from that of another–and non-excludability–it is difficult if not impossible to exclude an individual from enjoying the good. Knowledge of a mathematical theorem clearly satisfies both attributes: if I teach you the theorem, I continue to enjoy the knowledge of the theorem at the same time that you do. By the same token, once I publish the theorem, anyone can enjoy the theorem. No one can be excluded. They can use the theorem as the basis of their own further research. The “ideas” contained in the theorem may even stimulate others to have an idea with large commercial value.


The fact that knowledge is non-rivalrous–there is a zero marginal cost from an additional individual enjoying the benefits of the knowledge–has a strong implication. Even if one could exclude someone from enjoying the benefits of knowledge, it would be undesirable to do so because there are no marginal cost to sharing its benefits. If information is to be efficiently utilized, it cannot be privately provided as efficiency implies charging a price of zero—the marginal cost of another individual enjoying the knowledge. However, at zero price, only knowledge that could be produced at zero cost would be produced.

To be sure, to acquire and use knowledge, individuals may have to expend resources–just as they might have to expend resources to retrieve water from a public lake. That there may be significant costs associated with transmission of knowledge does not in any way affect the public good nature of knowledge itself: private providers can provide the “transmission” for a charge reflecting the marginal cost of transmission while at the same time, the good itself can remain free. http://p2pfoundation.net/Knowledge_as_a_Global_Public_Good

See, Education is a public good, not a consumer good http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/lifestyle/2012/07/education-public-good-not-consumer-good


Moi wrote in Accountability in virtual schools:

Technology can be a useful tool and education aid, BUT it is not a cheap way to move the masses through the education system without the guidance and mentoring that a quality human and humane teacher can provide. Education and children have suffered because cash sluts and credit crunch weasels have destroyed this society and there is no one taking them on. They will continue to bleed this society dry while playing their masters of the universe games until they are stopped. https://drwilda.com/2012/03/18/accountability-in-virtual-schools/

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National Education Policy Center study compares spending by charters and public schools

7 May

Charter schools invoke passion on both sides of the argument as to whether they constitute good public policy. A good analysis of the issues can be found at Public Policy Forum Charter Schools: Issues and Outlooks presented by Judy Doesschate and William Lake http://www.rockinst.org/pdf/public_policy_forums/2007-03-28-public_policy_forum_charter_schools_issues_and_outlook_presented_by_judy_doesschate_and_william_lake.pdf Another good summary of the arguments for and against school choice can be found at Learning Matters analysis which came from the PBS program , News Hour. In DISCUSS: Is School Choice Good Or Bad For Public Education? several educators examine school choice issues. http://learningmatters.tv/blog/web-series/discuss-is-school-choice-good-or-bad-for-public-education/8575/

The National Education Policy Center examines one aspect of the charter school debate, the question of equitable funding between charters and public schools. The conclusion is the data does not support one conclusion. Here is the press release:

Contact: Bruce Baker, (732) 932-7496, x8232, bruce.baker@gse.rutgers.edu
William J. Mathis, (802) 383-0058, 

URL for this press release:  http://tinyurl.com/d8dlmeb

BOULDER, CO (May 3, 2012) — Do charter schools live up to their supporters’ claim that they deliver a better education for less money?

While previous research has focused on the first half of that claim – education quality — a new report  published by the National Education Policy Center examines the second half – what charters spend.

Schools operated by major charter management organizations (CMOs) generally spend more than surrounding public schools, according to Spending by the Major Charter Management Organizations: Comparing Charter School & Local Public District Financial Resources in New York, Ohio and Texas.

The finding is significant, especially when programs such as the U.S. Department’s “Race to the Top” are directing more resources to charters deemed to be successful. The NEPC report presents new research on this question by Rutgers University Education Professor Bruce Baker, working with University of Colorado Boulder doctoral students Ken Libby and Kathryn Wiley. The research team examined spending in New York City, Ohio and Texas.

Charter school finances are hard to measure,” says Baker. “Charters generally receive both public and private funds. Also, in-kind assistance and resources from districts and states to charters vary greatly. Yet we can see that the most successful charters, such as KIPP and the Achievement First schools, have substantially deeper pockets than nearby traditional schools.”

The report explains that most studies highlighting or documenting a successful charter school have sidestepped or downplayed cost implications while focusing on specific programs and strategies in those schools. The broad conclusion across these studies is that charter schools or traditional public schools can produce dramatic improvements to student outcomes in the short- and long-term by implementing “no excuses” strategies and perhaps wrap-around services.  Most charter school studies conclude that these strategies either come with potentially negligible costs, or that higher costs, if any, are worthwhile since they yield a substantial return.

But according to Spending by the Major Charter Management Organizations, a “marginal expense” may be larger than it sounds.   An additional $1,837 expense in Houston for a KIPP charter school, where the average middle school operating expenditure per pupil is $7,911, equals a 23 to 30 percent cost increase.

A 30 percent increase in funding is a substantial increase by most people’s definition,” says Baker.

The study compares per-pupil spending of charter schools operated by CMOs to the spending in nearby district schools. The report’s authors examined three years of data, including information on school-level spending per pupil, school size, grade ranges and student populations served. For charter schools, the report’s authors drew spending data from government (and authorizer) reports as well as IRS non-profit financial filings (IRS 990s). Notably, the data from these two different sources matched only for New York City; the data reported for Texas and Ohio from the two sources varied considerably.

The study found many high-profile charter network schools to be outspending similar district schools in New York City and Texas. But it also found instances where charter network schools are spending less than similar district schools, particularly in Ohio. In Ohio, charters across the board spend less than district schools in the same city.

In contrast, KIPP, Achievement First and Uncommon Schools charter schools in New York City, spend substantially more ($2,000 to $4,300 per pupil) than similar district schools. Given that the average spending per pupil was around $12,000 to $14,000 citywide, a nearly $4,000 difference in spending amounts to an increase of some 30 percent.

Similarly, some charter chains in Texas, such as KIPP, spend substantially more per pupil than district schools in the same city and serving similar populations. In some Texas cities (and at the middle school level), these charters spend around 30 to 50 percent more based on state reported current expenditures. If the data from IRS filings are used, these charters are found to spend 50 to 100 percent more.

The National Education Policy Center (NEPC) at the University of Colorado Boulder produced Spending by the Major Charter Management Organizations: Comparing Charter School & Local Public District Financial Resources in New York, Ohio and Texas, with funding from the Albert Shanker Institute (http://www.shankerinstitute.org/) and from the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice (http://www.greatlakescenter.org).

Here is a portion of  executive summary:

Overall, charter spending variation is large as is the spending of traditional public schools. Comparative spending between the two sectors is mixed, with many high profile charter network schools outspending similar district schools in New York City and Texas, but other charter network schools spending less than similar district schools, particularly in Ohio.

We find that in New York City, KIPP, Achievement First and Uncommon Schools charter schools spend substantially more ($2,000 to $4,300 per pupil) than similar district schools. Given that the average spending per pupil was around $12,000 to $14,000 citywide, a nearly $4,000 difference in spending amounts to an increase of some 30%. In Ohio, charters across the board spend less than district schools in the same city. And in Texas, some charter chains such as KIPP spend substantially more per pupil than district schools in the same city and serving similar populations, around 30 to 50% more in some cities (and at the middle school level) based on state reported current expenditures, and 50 to 100% more based on IRS filings. Even in New York where we have the highest degree of confidence in the match between our IRS data and Annual Financial Report Data, we remain unconvinced that we are accounting fully for all charter school expenditures.

Here is a portion of the conclusion:

Conclusions and Implications

These analyses take an important step forward in comparing charter school spending to traditional public schools serving similar children, in similar grades and in the same city, and across multiple contexts. Further, we are able to make comparisons, with varying degrees of success, across three distinct charter school environments, based on data covering numerous major Charter Management Organizations and individual schools.

To no surprise, what we find is that charter school spending relative to public school spending varies widely. It varies widely partly because charter school spending itself varies and partly because the spending of surrounding schools varies across contexts. We find that in New York City, no charter network included in our analysis systematically spends less per pupil than comparable NYC public schools. Most spend more, and some spend substantially more. KIPP, Achievement First and Uncommon schools spend 20% to 30% more per pupil than similar traditional public schools in the city.

This finding is consistent with other data on charter school finance in New York City. First, the Independent Budget Office reports discussed above indicate that co-located charter schools receive slightly higher public subsidy levels than traditional public schools in the city. We make our comparisons against traditional public schools serving the same grade level and similar populations. Charter schools in NYC have much lower special population concentrations and city schools with lower special education shares spend less than the citywide average. Further, charter schools in our sample raise substantial additional philanthropy, above and beyond the public subsidy level. These margins of additional expenditure are also consistent with our summary and critique of the poorly-documented accounts of Fryer and colleagues regarding New York City charter schools.

Our findings regarding charter schools in Texas and Ohio are more mixed, perhaps because they appear to be hampered by data inconsistencies. We are relatively confident in the finding that Ohio charter schools appear to be spending less than otherwise similar traditional public schools in the same Ohio cities, but not as confident that we have captured precisely the magnitude of the gap, since IRS filing data appear to incompletely capture charter spending in Ohio. In Texas, IRS filing data do consistently report higher expenditures than state documented current expenditures, as expected. But, there are huge differences in spending across Texas charter schools, with some spending much less than district schools and others spending much more….

The one charter management organization that operates across settings—KIPP—consistently spends more than neighboring district schools regardless of setting, but with some variation by grade level (note that we lacked sufficient data on the Ohio KIPP school). That said, Ohio and Texas are likely among the best cases for conducting such analyses because data are available on school site expenditures. In other states, these types of analyses are simply not yet possible. And this matters if we’re to get a grasp on not only “what works,” but the equally important question of how much it costs.

The road to painting a clearer picture of charter school spending and the “costs” of charter models should take two different but concurrent paths forward. First, we must continue to make strides in improving the precision with which we are able to compare marginal spending differences across organizational units like schools or districts. Put simply, we need more comparable spending measures. We need such measures in order to make more accurate judgments about the relative efficiency of charter schools and about the relative equity of their available resources. One cannot accurately compare the relative efficiency in producing student outcomes, of one set of schools to another, where the spending measure for one set of schools is incomplete or where the spending measure for the other set of schools may include expenditures on the children in the first set. Similarly, one cannot make reasonable judgments about resource equity across children attending different types of schools where resource measures are incomplete and beneficiaries of resources are unclear.

Second, beyond looking at average expenditure differences by schools we must also begin to dig deeper into understanding the cost structure of providing specific programs and services—most notably, those programs and services that work, or that make successful charter schools tick. Determining cost structure requires: breaking the expenditures down into their parts, rather than viewing them as a whole; figuring out which programs, strategies or reforms are causing improved outcomes; determining the ingredients of successful strategies—the people, materials, supplies, equipment, physical space, and time it takes to implement these strategies; and then, calculating the cost of each factor and the cumulative cost of putting it all in place.

The substantial variation in resources introduced into urban education systems by the emergence of well-funded and less-well-funded charter schools creates significant equity concerns. Certainly cities like Houston and New York have long histories of offering competitive district-operated magnet schools of choice that have received more resources than other city schools. But these cities have also in the past decade begun to tackle this issue and design within-district resource allocation formulas intended to improve funding equity and predictability across schools.50 The press for improved within-district equity came in part from public pressure to deconstruct the system of elitism which revolved around academic competition for access to better resources. The emergence of well-endowed charter schools that are oversubscribed and have long waiting lists has replaced the old system with one in which access to more adequate educational resources is now contingent on winning a lottery.http://www.greatlakescenter.org/docs/Policy_Briefs/Baker_CharterSpending.pdf


Baker, B.D., Libby, K., & Wiley, K. (2012). Spending by the Major Charter Management Organizations: Comparing charter school and local public district financial resources in New York, Ohio, and Texas. Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center. Retrieved [date] from http://nepc.colorado.edu/publication/spending-major-charter.

This material is provided free of cost to NEPC’s readers, who may make non-commercial use of the material as long as NEPC and its author(s) are credited as the source. For inquiries about commercial use, please contact NEPC at nepc@colorado.edu.

There is no one “magic bullet” or Holy Grail in education. There is what works to produce academic achievement in a given population of students.


The Center for Education Reform releases 2012 charter school law guide                                                               https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/04/the-center-for-education-reform-releases-2012-charter-school-law-guide/

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