Tag Archives: School Choice

University of Arkansas study: The School Choice Voucher: A “Get Out of Jail” Card?

10 Mar

Moi has posted quite a bit about vouchers. Moi discussed vouchers as one element of school choice in Given school choice, many students thrive:

The Center for Education Reform defines School Choice:

The term “school choice” means giving parents the power and opportunity to choose the school their child will attend. Traditionally, children are assigned to a public school according to where they live. People of means already have school choice, because they can afford to move to an area according to the schools available (i.e. where the quality of public schools is high), or they can choose to enroll their child in a private school. Parents without such means, until recently, generally had no choice of school, and had to send their child to the school assigned to them by the district, regardless of the school’s quality or appropriateness for their child.

School choice means better educational opportunity, because it uses the dynamics of consumer opportunity and provider competition to drive service quality. This principle is found anywhere you look, from cars to colleges and universities, but it’s largely absent in our public school system and the poor results are evident, especially in the centers of American culture – our cities. School choice programs foster parental involvement and high expectations by giving parents the option to educate their children as they see fit. It re-asserts the rights of the parent and the best interests of child over the convenience of the system, infuses accountability and quality into the system, and provides educational opportunity where none existed before.

Many school choice issues are also discussed in the school choice section.

School Choices has information about School Vouchers https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/03/05/university-of-arkansas-study-finds-milwaukee-voucher-students-go-to-college-at-higher-rate/

The Brookings Institute (Brookings) released the report, The Effects of School Vouchers on College Enrollment: Experimental Evidence from New York City.  See also, Vouchers Help African American Students Go to College http://educationnext.org/vouchers-help-african-american-students-go-to-college/    and New Research on the Impact of Vouchers http://www.nationalreview.com/agenda/314852/new-research-impact-vouchers-reihan-salam

https://drwilda.com/2012/08/23/given-school-choice-many-students-thrive/

The University of Arkansas released How Has the Louisiana Scholarship Program Affected Students?

Posted by UArk Dept. of Ed. Reform – February 19, 2016 – LSP-Y2, SCDP, SCDP and a policy paper which examined the Milwaukee voucher program was part of the research project.

Ameila Hamilton wrote in A new paper looks at school vouchers and lower crime rates:

School choice is frequently hailed as a way to change the trajectories of lives in ways that will resonate for generations. While this is certainly true in terms of the educational achievement that leads to college, employment and the social mobility those bring, a new study is taking a look at how school choice also reduces crime.

In the past, families with the financial means to pay for private school have always had school choice. School vouchers are one way to expand choice to those without such advantages, by providing tuition assistance to students who could otherwise not afford it.

Wisconsin has one such program and The School Choice Voucher: A “Get Out of Jail” Card?, a paper released Tuesday by the University of Arkansas, examines crime rates in Milwaukee among students in voucher programs compared to students in traditional public schools. The study was conducted by Corey DeAngelis, a doctoral student in education policy, and Patrick J. Wolf, professor and 21st Century Chair in School Choice at the University of Arkansas.

It found that, not only do crime rates decline among students who participate in voucher programs, they continue to decline the longer a student is enrolled. “We conclude,” the paper says, “that merely being exposed to private schooling for a short time through a voucher program may not have a significant impact on criminal activity, though persistently attending a private school through a voucher program can decrease subsequent criminal activity, especially for males.”

The Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP) is the longest-running school choice program in the country, giving researchers the most data possible….                                                                http://watchdog.org/259034/a-new-paper-looks-at-school-vouchers-and-lower-crime-rates/

See, School Voucher Program Students Commit Fewer Crimes, Study Suggests, http://www.educationnews.org/education-policy-and-politics/school-voucher-program-students-commit-fewer-crimes-study-suggests/#sthash.yvn0hXeQ.dpuf

Citation:

The School Choice Voucher: A ‘Get Out of Jail’ Card?
Source: Corey DeAngelis, Patrick J. Wolf,EDRE Working Paper No. 2016-01, January 6, 2016

Abstract:
In this article we examine crime rates for students in Milwaukee’s citywide voucher program and a comparable group of public school students. Using unique data collected as part of a state-mandated evaluation of the program, we consider criminal activity by students initially exposed to voucher schools and those in public schools at the same time. We also consider criminal activity by students that stayed in the voucher program through 12th grade compared to those who were in public schools at the same time. We show that the mere exposure to private schooling through a voucher is associated with lower rates of criminal activity but the relationship is not robust to different analytic samples or measures of crime. We find a more consistent statistically significant negative relationship between students that stayed in the voucher program through 12th grade and criminal activity (meaning persistent voucher students commit fewer crimes). These results are apparent when controlling for student demographics, test scores, and parental characteristics. We conclude that merely being exposed to private schooling for a short time through a voucher program may not have a significant impact on criminal activity, though persistence in a voucher program can decrease subsequent criminal activity.

– See more at: http://www.afscmeinfocenter.org/privatizationupdate/2016/01/organizational-failure-in-the-hollow-state-lessons-from-the-milwaukee-voucher-experience.htm#.VuJd7zEi1dg

Here is the press release from the University of Arkansas:

Study Finds Connection Between School Voucher Use, Lower Crime Rates

March 08, 2016

An evaluation by University of Arkansas researchers of a Milwaukee school voucher program found that students who used the vouchers to attend a private high school were less likely to commit crimes than comparable students who attended Milwaukee public schools.

Corey DeAngelis, a doctoral student in education policy, and Patrick J. Wolf, who holds the Twenty-First Century Chair in School Choice, describe the results of the analysis in their paper titled “The School Choice Voucher: A ‘Get Out of Jail’ Card?” They presented the paper in January at the annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The School Choice Demonstration Project based at the U of A and directed by Wolf has conducted several previous studies of the Milwaukee program, looking at student achievement, high school graduation rates, college enrollment rates, promotion of civic values and parental satisfaction and views of safety.

Schools also can be thought of as social institutions that aim to improve the non-cognitive skills of students, according to the paper, and the combination of academic achievement and non-cognitive advancement of students can lead to better life outcomes as measured by lifetime earnings, employment and citizenship. In the current study, citizenship of a given student was evaluated by looking at criminal activity as adults.

DeAngelis and Wolf used data from the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program to conduct the first analysis of the effect of a private school choice program on the criminal behavior of young adults. Milwaukee’s is the first urban publicly funded tuition voucher system, launched in 1990, and currently enrolls more than 27,000 students in more than 110 private schools.

The researchers matched students using the voucher with students in public schools using data on grade, neighborhood, race, gender, English language learner status, and math and reading tests. They also controlled for family characteristics such as income, family composition and parental education. They used the Wisconsin Court System Circuit Court Access system to search for cases involving former students who had been in the program during a longitudinal study from 2006 to 2011 and were 22 to 25 years old during the criminal database search.

The results indicated that using a voucher to attend private school reduces the likelihood of a student committing a misdemeanor as a young adult by 5 to 7 percentage points, or committing a felony by 3 percentage points, and of being accused of any crime by 5 to 12 percentage points. The effects of the voucher program on reducing crime rates are especially clear and large for men, who commit more crimes than do women.

The complete study can be found on the School Choice Demonstration Project website.

  • Contacts

  • Heidi Stambuck, director of communications College of Education and Health Professions 479-575-3138, stambuck@uark.edu

There is no magic bullet or “Holy Grail” in education. There is only what works to produce academic achievement in each population of children. That is why school choice is so important. Moi does not have the dread of a well-defined voucher program targeted at at-risk children. The tax credit program is entirely a horse of a different color and should be discouraged.

Related:

What is the Indiana voucher program?                                                                           https://drwilda.com/2012/08/26/what-is-the-indiana-voucher-program/

Are tax credits disguised vouchers?                                                                                 https://drwilda.com/2012/06/17/are-tax-credits-disguised-vouchers/

University of Arkansas study finds Milwaukee voucher students go to college at higher rate   https://drwilda.com/2012/03/05/university-of-arkansas-study-finds-milwaukee-voucher-students-go-to-college-at-higher-rate/

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Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health study: More time for school lunches equals healthier choices for kids

1 Oct

Moi wrote about the limited amount of time some students get to eat lunch in Do kids get enough time to eat lunch? Given the amount that must be packed into the school day, it is no surprise that the lunch period often get short shrift. https://drwilda.com/2012/08/28/do-kids-get-enough-time-to-eat-lunch/
Eric Westervelt of NPR reported in the story, These Days, School Lunch Hours Are More Like 15 Minutes:

The school lunch hour in America is a long-gone relic. At many public schools today, kids are lucky to get more than 15 minutes to eat. Some get even less time.
And parents and administrators are concerned that a lack of time to eat is unhealthful, especially given that about one-third of American kids are overweight or obese…
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/12/04/248511038/these-days-school-lunch-hours-are-more-like-15-minutes

A T.H. Chan School of Public Health confirms kids are not getting enough time to eat lunch.

Science Daily reported in More time for school lunches equals healthier choices for kids: Children are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables when given at least 25 minutes for lunch, according to a new study the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:

Elementary and middle school students who are given at least 25 minutes to eat lunch are more likely to choose fruits and consume more of their entrees, milk, and vegetables according to a new study released in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Each day, over 30 million U.S. students receive a free or discounted meal thanks to the National School Lunch Program. For children from low-income households, these meals can account for almost half of their daily caloric intake, so it is vitally important for schools to find ways to improve student selections and consumption and limit food waste.

This new study examined the association between the length of the lunch period and the food choices and intake of students. Data for the study were collected on six nonconsecutive days throughout the 2011 to 2012 school year as part of the MEALS study, a large, school-based randomized controlled trial. The MEALS study was a collaboration between the nonprofit organization Project Bread and the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health to improve the selection and consumption of healthier school foods. Researchers conducted a plate waste study, which is the gold standard for assessing children’s diets.

Investigators found that when kids have less than 20 minutes of seated time in the cafeteria to eat lunch, they were significantly less likely to select a fruit when compared to peers who had at least 25 minutes to eat lunch (44% vs 57%, respectively). Furthermore, the study found that children with less than 20 minutes to eat lunch consumed 13% less of their entrees, 10% less of their milk, and 12% less of their veggies when compared to students who had at least 25 minutes to eat their lunch. This indicates that kids who were given less time at lunch may be missing out on key components of a healthy diet such as fiber-rich whole grains and calcium.

“Policies that improve the school food environment can have important public health implications in addressing the growing socioeconomic disparities in the prevalence of obesity and in improving the overall nutrient quality of children’s diets,” explained lead investigator Juliana F. W. Cohen, ScD, ScM, Assistant Professor, Department of Health Sciences, Merrimack College, North Andover, MA, and Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Nutrition, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA. “This research suggests that enabling students to have sufficient time to eat their meals can help address this important issue.”

According to the study, another challenge kids face is the minutes they must use during their school lunchtime period for activities besides eating or sitting. Many students spend a considerable amount of time traveling to the cafeteria and then waiting in line to get their lunch. After taking this into account, some children in the study had as little as 10 minutes to eat their lunch….. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/09/150911094910.htm

Citation:

Ellen Parker, MBA, MSW
,
Eric B. Rimm, ScD
Received: April 16, 2015; Accepted: July 24, 2015; Published Online: September 11, 2015
Publication stage: In Press Corrected Proof

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2015.07.019
Article Info
Purchase access to this article (PDF Included)
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• Abstract
• Full Text
• References
Abstract
Background

There are currently no national standards for school lunch period length and little is known about the association between the amount of time students have to eat and school food selection and consumption.
Objective

Our aim was to examine plate-waste measurements from students in the control arm of the Modifying Eating and Lifestyles at School study (2011 to 2012 school year) to determine the association between amount of time to eat and school meal selection and consumption.

Design
We used a prospective study design using up to six repeated measures among students during the school year.
Participants/setting
One thousand and one students in grades 3 to 8 attending six participating elementary and middle schools in an urban, low-income school district where lunch period lengths varied from 20 to 30 minutes were included.
Main outcome measures
School food selection and consumption were collected using plate-waste methodology.
Statistical analyses performed
Logistic regression and mixed-model analysis of variance was used to examine food selection and consumption.

Results
Compared with meal-component selection when students had at least 25 minutes to eat, students were significantly less likely to select a fruit (44% vs 57%; P<0.0001) when they had <20 minutes to eat. There were no significant differences in entrée, milk, or vegetable selections. Among those who selected a meal component, students with <20 minutes to eat consumed 13% less of their entrée (P<0.0001), 10% less of their milk (P<0.0001), and 12% less of their vegetable (P<0.0001) compared with students who had at least 25 minutes to eat.

Conclusions
During the school year, a substantial number of students had insufficient time to eat, which was associated with significantly decreased entrée, milk, and vegetable consumption compared with students who had more time to eat. School policies that encourage lunches with at least 25 minutes of seated time might reduce food waste and improve dietary intake.

Keywords:
School lunch, Lunch period length, Fruit intake, Vegetable intake, Milk intake

More time for school lunches equals healthier choices for kids
Children are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables when given at least 25 minutes for lunch, according to a new study the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Date: September 11, 2015

Source: Elsevier Health Sciences

Summary:
Elementary and middle school students who are given at least 25 minutes to eat lunch are more likely to choose fruits and consume more of their entrees, milk, and vegetables according to a new study.

Journal Reference:
1. Juliana F.W. Cohen, Jaquelyn L. Jahn, Scott Richardson, Sarah A. Cluggish, Ellen Parker, Eric B. Rimm. Amount of Time to Eat Lunch Is Associated with Children’s Selection and Consumption of School Meal Entrée, Fruits, Vegetables, and Milk. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2015; DOI: 10.1016/j.jand.2015.07.019

Here is the press release from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health:

Short lunch periods in schools linked with less healthy eating

For immediate release: September 11, 2015

Boston, MA ─ Students with less than 20 minutes to eat school lunches consume significantly less of their entrées, milk, and vegetables than those who aren’t as rushed, according to a new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
The study will appear online Friday, September 11, 2015 in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
“Many children, especially those from low-income families, rely on school meals for up to half their daily energy intake so it is essential that we give students a sufficient amount of time to eat their lunches,” said Juliana Cohen, adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard Chan School, assistant professor in the Department of Health Sciences at Merrimack College, and lead author of the study.
“Every school day the National School Lunch Program helps to feed over 30 million children in 100,000 schools across the U.S., yet little research has been done in this field,” said Eric Rimm, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard Chan School and the study’s senior author. (Watch Rimm discuss the study on CBS Boston.)
While recent federal guidelines enhanced the nutritional quality of school lunches, there are no standards regarding lunch period length. Many students have lunch periods that are 20 minutes or less, which can be an insufficient amount of time to eat, according to the authors.
The researchers wanted to examine the effect of lunch period length on students’ food choices and intake. They looked at 1,001 students in six elementary and middle schools, with lunch periods ranging from 20-30 minutes, in a low-income urban school district in Massachusetts, as part of the Modifying Eating and Lifestyles at School (MEALS) study, a collaboration between Project Bread and Harvard Chan School. They analyzed the students’ food selection and consumption by monitoring what was left on their plates at the end of the lunch period.
The researchers found that students with less than 20 minutes to eat lunch consumed 13% less of their entrées, 12% less of their vegetables, and 10% less of their milk than students who had at least 25 minutes to eat. While there were no notable differences between the groups in terms of entrée, milk, or vegetable selections, those with less time to eat were significantly less likely to select a fruit (44% vs. 57%). Also, there was more food waste among groups with less time to eat.
Waiting in serving lines or arriving late to lunch sometimes left children in the study with as little as 10 minutes to actually sit and eat. The researchers acknowledged that while not all schools may be able to lengthen their lunch periods, they could develop strategies to move kids more quickly through lunch lines, such as by adding more serving lines or setting up automated checkout systems.
“We were surprised by some of the results because I expected that with less time children may quickly eat their entrée and drink their milk but throw away all of their fruits and vegetables,” said Rimm. “Not so—we found they got a start on everything, but couldn’t come close to finishing with less time to eat.”
Jaquelyn Jahn, a master’s student in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Harvard Chan School, was a co-author.
The study was funded by a grant from Project Bread and Arbella Insurance. Cohen was supported by the Nutritional Epidemiology of Cancer Education and Career Development Program (R25 CA 098566).
“Amount of Time to Eat Lunch Is Associated with Children’s Selection and Consumption of School Meal Entrée, Fruits, Vegetables, and Milk,” Juliana F. W. Cohen, Jaquelyn L. Jahn, Scott Richardson, Sarah A. Cluggish, Ellen Parker, Eric B. Rimm, Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, online September 11, 2015, doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2015.07.019
Visit the Harvard Chan website for the latest news, press releases, and multimedia offerings.
For more information:
Todd Datz
tdatz@hsph.harvard.edu
617-432-8413
Photo: iStockphoto.com
###
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health brings together dedicated experts from many disciplines to educate new generations of global health leaders and produce powerful ideas that improve the lives and health of people everywhere. As a community of leading scientists, educators, and students, we work together to take innovative ideas from the laboratory to people’s lives—not only making scientific breakthroughs, but also working to change individual behaviors, public policies, and health care practices. Each year, more than 400 faculty members at Harvard Chan School teach 1,000-plus full-time students from around the world and train thousands more through online and executive education courses. Founded in 1913 as the Harvard-MIT School of Health Officers, the School is recognized as America’s oldest professional training program in public health.

In order to ensure that ALL children have a basic education, we must take a comprehensive approach to learning.
A healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy school in a healthy neighborhood ©

Related:

School dinner programs: Trying to reduce the number of hungry children

https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/28/school-dinner-programs-trying-to-reduce-the-number-of-hungry-children/

School lunches: The political hot potato

https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/03/school-lunches-the-political-hot-potato/

The government that money buys: School lunch cave in by Congress

https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/16/the-government-that-money-buys-school-lunch-cave-in-by-congress/

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http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

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Institute of Education Sciences study: States lack capacity to improve failing schools

10 May

There is no magic bullet or “Holy Grail” in education. There is only what works to produce academic achievement in each population of children. That is why school choice is so important.

Lyndsey Layton wrote in the Washington Post article, Most states lacked expertise to improve worst schools:

The Obama administration handed out more than $3 billion to the states and the District of Columbia to help them turn around their worst-performing schools as part of the federal stimulus spending that took place after the 2008 recession.

But most states lacked the capacity to improve those schools, according to a new analysis by federal researchers.

Although turning around the worst schools was a priority for nearly every state, most did not have the staff, technology and expertise to pull those schools out of the bottom rankings, according to a brief released Tuesday by the Institute of Education Sciences, the research arm of the U.S. Education Department.

With funds allocated by Congress under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Obama administration spent $3.5 million on School Improvement Grants to states, directing them to focus the money on their lowest-performing schools.

School Improvement Grants had been part of No Child Left Behind, the 2002 federal education law. But stimulus spending increased the budget for the grants sixfold.

Under the Obama administration, schools could receive up to $2 million annually for three years. The money was divided among the states and D.C. according a federal formula. About 1,500 schools received grants.

Any school accepting a grant had to agree to adopt one of four strategies favored by the administration: Replace the principal and at least 50 percent of the staff; close the school and enroll students in another, better-performing school; close the school and reopen it as a charter school; or transform the school through new instructional strategies and other techniques.

While 84 percent of states told the researchers that improving the worst schools was a top priority, 58 percent said it was one of the most difficult tasks to accomplish. Eighty percent of states and the District told federal researchers that their states had at least one significant gap in expertise needed to significantly improve the worst schools….
http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/most-states-lacked-expertise-to-improve-worst-schools/2015/05/05/0eb82b98-f35f-11e4-bcc4-e8141e5eb0c9_story.html

Here is the abstract:

State Capacity to Support School Turnaround

One objective of the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) School Improvement Grants (SIG) and Race to the Top (RTT) program is to help states enhance their capacity to support the turnaround of low-performing schools. This capacity may be important, given how difficult it is to produce substantial and sustained achievement gains in low-performing schools. There is limited existing research on the extent to which states have the capacity to support school turnaround and are pursuing strategies to enhance that capacity. This brief documents states’ capacity to support school turnaround as of spring 2012 and spring 2013. It examines capacity issues for all states and for those that reported both prioritizing turnaround and having significant gaps in expertise to support it. Key findings, based on interviews with administrators from 49 states and the District of Columbia, include the following:

• More than 80 percent of states made turning around low-performing schools a high priority, but at least 50 percent found it very difficult to turn around low-performing schools.
• 38 states (76 percent) reported significant gaps in expertise for supporting school turnaround in 2012, and that number increased to 40 (80 percent) in 2013.
• More than 85 percent of states reported using strategies to enhance their capacity to support school turnaround, with the use of intermediaries decreasing over time and the use of organizational or administrative structures increasing over time.
• States that reported both prioritizing school turnaround and having significant gaps in expertise to support it were no more likely to report using intermediaries than other states but all 21 of these states reported having at least one organizational or administrative structure compared with 86 percent (25 of 29) of all other states.

View, download, and print the report as a PDF file (2.8 MB)
http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/pubs/20154012/pdf/20154012.pdf

Here is the press release:

Press Release

New Brief by AIR, Mathematica Experts Examines States’ Capacity to Support Turnaround in Low-Performing Schools

A new research brief released by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) documents states’ capacity to support school turnaround as of spring 2012 and spring 2013. The brief found that at least three-quarters of states reported having “significant gaps” in expertise to support turning around low-performing schools.

Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) May 05, 2015

A new research brief released by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) documents states’ capacity to support school turnaround as of spring 2012 and spring 2013.
The study found that at least three-quarters of states reported having “significant gaps” in expertise to support turning around low-performing schools.

The brief resulted from collaboration between experts at the American Institutes for Research (AIR) and Mathematica Policy Research. It is the fourth brief in a large-scale evaluation of School Improvement Grant (SIG) and Race to the Top (RTT) programs
.
“Improving low-performing schools does not happen overnight,” said Courtney Tanenbaum, a senior researcher at AIR. “Turning them around is a complex and challenging endeavor. So it is not surprising that states would feel a need for more support in this area.”
Through structured telephone interviews with administrators in 49 states and the District of Columbia, the study found:

• More than 80 percent of states made turning around low-performing schools a high priority, but at least 50 percent of all states found turnaround very difficult.
• Thirty-eight states (76 percent) reported significant gaps in expertise for supporting school turnaround in 2012, and that number increased to 40 states (80 percent) in 2013.
• More than 85 percent of states reported using strategies to enhance their capacity to support school turnaround. The use of intermediaries decreased over time, and the use of organizational or administrative structures increased over time.
• Twenty-one states reported prioritizing school turnaround and having significant gaps in expertise to support it. Although these states were no more likely to use intermediaries than other states, all 21 reported having at least one organizational or administrative structure to improve their capacity to support turnaround, compared with 86 percent (25 of 29) of other states.

“States can play an important role in tackling the challenges of school turnaround, for example, by arranging external support to address barriers to improvement,” said Susanne James-Burdumy, Mathematica senior fellow and director of the evaluation. “For this reason, SIG and RTT provided resources to improve state capacity to support turnaround, but concerns linger about state capacity to continue that support once SIG and RTT funding runs out. Our brief sheds light on the specific capacity constraints states are facing and where additional supports could be warranted.”
To view the full report, go to http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/pubs/20154012/.

About AIR
Established in 1946, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of health, education, and workforce productivity. For more information, visit http://www.air.org.
About Mathematica Policy Research

Mathematica Policy Research seeks to improve public well-being by conducting studies and assisting clients with program evaluation and policy research, survey design and data collection, research assessment and interpretation, and program performance/data analytics and management. Its clients include foundations, federal and state governments, and private-sector and international organizations. The employee-owned company is headquartered in Princeton, NJ, with offices in Ann Arbor, MI; Cambridge, MA; Chicago, IL; Oakland, CA; and Washington, DC. For more information, visit http://www.mathematica-mpr.com.
Andrew Brownstein
American Institutes for Research
+1 (202) 403-6043

Andrew J. Rotherham wrote in the Time article, Can Parents Take Over Schools? http://ideas.time.com/2012/03/08/can-parents-take-over-schools/#ixzz1ygVQ5kIA
The point is, there is no magic bullet or “Holy Grail” in education. There is what works to produce academic achievement in a given population of children.

Related:
Teacher Cooperatives
http://educationnext.org/teacher-cooperatives/

Can Teachers Run Their Own Schools?
http://charlestkerchner.com/

Can Teachers Run Schools?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-vander-ark/can-teachers-run-schools_b_803312.html

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©                                                           http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
https://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

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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University of Arkansas report: Charter school funding inequity expands

1 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 examined 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, wmathis@sover.net
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).

A study by the University of Arkansas will continue the debate.

Blogger Alyssa Morones posted the Education Week article, Charter Schools Receive Inequitable Funding, Says Report:

When it comes to public school funding, charters are getting the short end of the stick, researchers from the University of Arkansas say in a new report. The truth behind the numbers, though, remains up for debate.
The report, Charter School Funding: Inequity Expands, examines funding inequities that exist for public charter students, according to Nina Rees, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. According to the report, traditional public schools receive an average of $3,059 per pupil more than traditional charter schools—a gap that’s larger in urban areas. This gap has increased by more than 54 percent between 2007 and 2011.
The inequity is caused mostly by differences in state-level funding, according to the report.
“The underlying causes of state funding and inequities are structural in nature,” said Jay May, a researcher at the University of Arkansas, in an interview with Education Week.
Dollars that flow outside of the funding formula or funds from city agencies that charters cannot access are two contributors to funding disparities.
“For me, this is a matter of equity,” said Larry Maloney, also a researcher. “Particularly when you look at the type of students in charters. They’re not the elite of our country. They are students with high need.”
While the disparities in funding reported by the study are the aggregate of a number of sources, the researchers call on states in particular to close these gaps. State practices that widen the funding gaps include denying charters some funding distributed to traditional public schools in the state funding formula, prohibitions on access to local funding, and reduced or no access to public facility funding.
The issue of charter funding and the disparities that exist may be even more complicated than the report makes out, though….
According to Miron, charter schools already have a cost advantage not captured and explained by the data present in the report….
In fact, in his previous studies, Miron found that charters actually have a cost advantage, because charters do not have to provide the same services or have the same expenditures as traditional public schools.Transportation costs, for example, are an area in which charters have a funding advantage. Districts are required to provide student transportation while charters are not.
Miron also iIsagreed with the report’s claim that charters do not receive more private and philanthropic funds than traditional public schools. In order to get a more accurate picture, he said, researchers must look at data beyond the federal data set, for which most charters reported zero dollars under private revenues.
Miron said that tax forms and school audits he examined in his own research revealed considerable money that comes into charters—money that the federal data did not reveal, in large part because the money was being received and spent by separate foundations or trusts established to serve a specific charter.
“The report is drawing a very big conclusion on very big and incomplete data,” he said. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/charterschoice/2014/05/charter_schools_receive_inequitable_funding_says_report.html

Center for Education Reform commented in Charter Funding: Inequity Expands:

Charter schools receive significantly less per-pupil funding than traditional public schools, according to an April 2014 study from the University of Arkansas. On average, charter schools receive 28.4 percent less for each student than their traditional counterparts, amounting to $3,814 less per year. Over time, the funding disparity between districts and charter schools has increased by 54 percent in eight years, as charter enrollment has continued to grow. Funding gaps vary from state to state, but researchers found that the gap is widest at the local level, where on average charter schools receive $1,780 per pupil from local sources, compared with $5,230 received by traditional schools. Moreover, there is overwhelming evidence that state funding inequities are structural in nature, and charter funding can’t possibly be resolved without starting over. These findings validate those from the 2014 Survey of America’s Charter Schools, which reported that charter schools receive on average 36 percent less revenue than their traditional school counterparts. http://www.edreform.com/2014/01/survey-of-americas-charter-schools/ The University of Arkansas study is current up to the 2010-11 school year, and researchers collected, reviewed and audited financial statements from 30 states plus the District of Columbia. – See more at: http://www.edreform.com/2014/04/charter-funding-inequity-expands/#sthash.SEYZUwnA.dpuf http://www.edreform.com/2014/04/charter-funding-inequity-expands/

Citation:

Research report: Charter School Funding: Inequity Expands
Download Full Report http://www.uaedreform.org/wp-content/uploads/charter-funding-inequity-expands.pdf

Report Appendices http://www.uaedreform.org/wp-content/uploads/charter-funding-inequity-expands-appendices.pdf

Conversion Charter Schools: Do They Impact Financial Analysis http://www.uaedreform.org/wp-content/uploads/charter-funding-conversion-charter-impact.pdf

Here is the press release from the National Association for Public Charter Schools:

New Report Finds Charter Schools Receive Significantly Lower Funding than Other Public Schools
Average per pupil funding gap reaches $3,509
4/30/2014
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the University of Arkansas released a report that shows public charter schools now receive $3,509 less per pupil than traditional public schools. Charter Funding: Inequity Expands reveals the disparity is greatest in major cities and that the funding gap has grown in recent years.
“This report is a stark reminder of the funding inequity that exists for public charter school students,” said Nina Rees, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. “One in 20 children in America now attends a public charter school and there is no justifiable reason why their schools should receive fewer dollars than other public schools. What makes this particularly frustrating is that the disparity continues to grow, rising by nearly 55 percent over the past eight years. We must remind state and local leaders of the impact their policy decisions have on our students and work to ensure we are closing this funding gap.”
The report, based on data from Fiscal Year 2011, found state funding deficits ranged from $365 in New Mexico to as much as $12,736 in Washington, D.C. In urban areas the disparity was greatest – on average traditional public schools received $4,352 more per pupil than charter schools. The report also found that public charter schools received fewer private and philanthropic donations per pupil than traditional public schools.
Since 2010, all but one independent research study has found that students in charter schools do better in school than their traditional school peers. For example, one study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University found that charter schools do a better job teaching low income students, minority students, and students who are still learning English than traditional schools. Separate studies by the Center for Reinventing Public Education and Mathematica Policy Research have found that charter school students are more likely to graduate from high school, go on to college, stay in college and have higher earnings in early adulthood.
“Public charter schools have proven time and again that they are doing an effective job educating some of our most disadvantaged kids,” Rees continued. “But too often, potential school leaders are discouraged from opening a charter school due to limited resources. We should be doing everything we can to make sure more public charter schools are able to access the resources they need to offer high-quality education options.”
Click here to read Charter Funding: Inequity Expands and view state specific data.
About the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement. Our mission is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter sector. For more information, please visit our website at http://www.publiccharters.org.

This blog wholeheartedly supports charters, but more important, this blog supports school choice. One of the principles of this blog is that all children have a right to a good basic education. There are a variety of ways that each child will receive that good basic education and the choice should be left to the parents or guardians. The only caveat should be that if the education option is failing to educate that child, there should be other alternatives to choose from. Charters are governed by state law which authorizes them and sets the parameters for operation. One of the reasons many support charters is it is at least theoretically possible for failing schools to be closed. There are going to be good education options of all types and there will be failures of public school, private schools, and homeschools. Just as success is not attributed to all choices in a category, the fact that a public school or charter school is a failure does not mean that ALL public schools or ALL charter schools are failure. People, use a little discernment. Many are so caught up in their particular political agenda that they lose sight of the goal, which is that all children have a right to a good basic education.

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School choice: California public school charter serves homeschoolers

1 Jan

Moi has several posts about homeschooling. In Homeschooling is becoming more mainstream, moi wrote:

Parents and others often think of school choice in terms of public school or private school. There is another option and that is homeschooling.Homeschooling is one option in the school choice menu. There are fewer children being homeschooled than there are in private schools. There are fewer children in private education, which includes homeschools than in public education. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the vast majority of students attend public schools. Complete statistics can be found at Fast Education Facts http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=372

The question, which will be discussed at the end of this comment, is: What is so scary about school choice? After all, the vast majority of children are enrolled in public school and school choice is not going to change that.

What is Homeschooling?

Family Education defines homeschooling.

Homeschooling means learning outside of the public or private school environment. The word “home” is not really accurate, and neither is “school.” For most families, their “schooling” involves being out and about each day, learning from the rich resources available in their community, environment, and through interactions with other families who homeschool. http://school.familyeducation.com/home-schooling/alternative-education/41106.html

Essentially, homeschooling involves a commitment by a parent or guardian to oversees their child or teen’s educational development. There are almost two million homeschoolers in this country.
There is no one federal law, which governs homeschooling. Each state regulates homeschooling, so state law must be consulted. The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) has a summary of each state’s laws. http://www.hslda.org/laws/default.asp

Why Do Parents Homeschool?

According to the Washington Homeschool Organization, there are many reasons parents choose to homeschool.

Advantages of Homeschooling
• Parents are with their children all day.
• Parents know and understand their children, and are influential in their lives, even as they enter the teen years.
• Homeschooling prevents premature parent-child separation, avoiding inappropriate pressure on children.
• Children are allowed to mature at their own speeds, no “hurried child” syndrome.
• Parents and other adults are the primary role models for homeschooled children.
• Homeschooling provides positive and appropriate socialization with peers and adults.
• Homeschooled children are largely free from peer pressure.
• Homeschooled children are comfortable interacting with people of all ages.
• Homeschooled children view adults as an integrated part of their world and as natural partners in learning.
• Family values and beliefs are central to social, emotional and academic development.
• Family life revolves around its own needs and priorities rather than the demands of school.
• Homeschooling creates/maintains positive sibling relationships.
• Homeschooling promotes good communication and emotional closeness within a family.
• Research shows that the two most important factors in reading and overall educational success are positive home influence and parental involvement; homeschooling provides both.
• A child’s natural thirst for learning is nurtured, not squelched, and learning becomes a lifelong joy.
• Each child’s education can be tailored to his or her unique interests, pace, and learning style.
• Homeschooling children have time to pursue their special interests and talents.
• Homeschoolers enjoy unlimited educational resources; the world is our classroom, and resources abound in the community.
• Homeschooling provides a high adult/child ratio for the student.
• Homeschooled children become independent thinkers who are secure in their won convictions. http://www.washhomeschool.org/homeschooling/why.html

https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/homeschooling-is-becoming-more-mainstream/
Homeschoolers of Color

The Village Voice has an excellent article about the experiences of Black homeschoolers and why they made the choice of homeschooling.

Black parents tend to take their children out of the schools for other than religious reasons, and homeschooling groups say black children taught at home are nearly always boys. Like Robinson, some of New York’s parents have concluded that the school system is failing the city’s black boys, and have elected to teach them at home as an alternative. http://www.villagevoice.com/2008-04-08/news/the-new-home-room/full

The National Home Education Research Institute http://www.nheri.org/research/nheri-news/homeschooling-more-ethnic-minorities-lower-income-families-and-parents-moderately-high-education.html which cites statistics from The Condition of Education 2009 reports the number of homeschoolers of color is growing. http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2009/2009081.pdf

If one reviews the statistics from the last four years of USDE research (i.e., the last two USDE reports), one will find that 77.0% of homeschool students were white in 2003 while 76.8% were white in 2007 (i.e., a 0.2% decrease in those who are “white”). Second, this authors’ roughly 25 years of experience with and studying the homeschool community shows that the percentage of the homeschool community comprised of minorities is continuing to increase. Third, homeschool leaders across the nation are telling this author the same; that is, an increasing percent of the homeschool community is non-white.

Homeschooling is the choice for many parents because they don’t feel that current education institutions serve either their child or their values well.

Sarah D. Sparks reported in the Education Week article, Calif. Charter Caters to Home-Schooled Students:

The Da Vinci Innovation Academy serves home-schooled students within a 90-minute drive of Los Angeles International Airport. The school, a partnership between the Da Vinci charter-management group and the Wiseburn school district, has developed intensive, connected parent-and-teacher professional development to keep widely disparate students on the same page.
“There are 270 kids attending DVIA, and they all have very different programs because every parent is seeing their role a little bit differently,” said Tom R. Johnstone, Wiseburn’s superintendent.
The most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics show that roughly 3 percent of all school-age American children, or 1.77 million, were home-schooled in 2011. As the practice becomes increasingly popular, more states are requiring districts to provide at least some educational services if parents request them.
The partnership between Wiseburn and Da Vinci offers one model for keeping home-schooling families connected to the larger district community and highlights a more holistic approach to getting parents involved in their children’s schooling. While parent cooperatives are becoming more commonplace, the Innovation Academy is unique as a full public school serving only home schoolers.
“Asking parents to volunteer twice a year for a fundraiser isn’t enough to connect them emotionally to their students’ learning,” said Laura B. Glasser, whose son Jacob attends Da Vinci. “Doing homework with my kid at public school was really about [both of us] doing the same paperwork in a different location. Here, family learning is about understanding multiple strategies. … [The school] offers families multiple ways to understand their child’s education.”
Students attend in-school class two days a week, either in a Monday/Thursday or Tuesday/Friday cohort, though the school also offers a half day of fee-based elective classes on Wednesdays. For the rest of the week, children work with their parents on projects developed in partnership with the school’s teachers and aligned to the Common Core State Standards that most states have now adopted. Parents fill out a detailed “work journal” linking the activities they do on home days to specific standards, and a panel of teachers audits the journals every 20 days to ensure students are completing at least 20 days’ worth of learning in that time….
Parents attend two days of training at the start of the fall semester, learning how to align what they do at home with what students learn in class. Throughout the year, they continue to attend workshops given by teachers and other home-schooling parents on topics from reading-comprehension strategies to occupational therapy, and teachers provide online videos and other materials to help parents link school content to home lessons….
The school population is about half white, and the rest is a mix of black students and those of Hispanic, Asian, and Middle Eastern backgrounds. While under California charter law students can enroll from anywhere in the state, all so far hail from across the Los Angeles metro area, and a majority qualify for free or reduced-price meals. “When you think of home-schooling families, you think middle-class white, and that doesn’t end up being the model here,” said current Principal Michelle Rainey.
Parents run the gamut in educational experience, too, she added: “Some say, ‘I’m a home schooler at heart; I want complete autonomy.’ We have others who say, ‘I’m not sure about this whole home-schooling thing, but I like the way you work with kids, so give me materials and hold my hand through this…..’ ”
With parents responsible for covering the bulk of core content, the school also has more time to focus on teaching students to apply what they learn in multiple subjects, as well as cultivate noncognitive skills such as decisionmaking and cooperation.
“Content is about 50 percent of what we do here, and in most schools, content is 95 percent of what they do,” Principal Rainey said…. http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2013/12/30/15homeschool.h33.html?tkn=XOYFB5vCgN6oINU1CKtwJQQO62cE6pldq%2F2m&cmp=clp-edweek&intc=es

Many of our children are “unschooled” and a far greater number are “uneducated.” One can be “unschooled” or “uneducated” no matter the setting. As a society, we should be focused on making sure that each child receives a good basic education. There are many ways to reach that goal. There is nothing scary about the fact that some parents make the choice to homeschool. The focus should not be on the particular setting or institution type. The focus should be on proper assessment of each child to ensure that child is receiving a good basic education and the foundation for later success in life.

Related:

‘Hybrid’ homeschooling is growing https://drwilda.com/2012/08/16/hybrid-homeschooling-is-growing/

New book: Homeschooling, the little option that could https://drwilda.com/2012/10/12/new-book-homeschooling-the-little-option-that-could/

Homeschooled kids make the grade for college
https://drwilda.com/2012/07/02/homeschooled-kids-make-the-grade-for-college/

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Harvard and Princeton study: Charter schools benefit low-income students

6 Nov

Moi wrote in A charter school for young entrepreneurs shows the diversity of charters: 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 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 presented by Judy Doesschate and William Lake 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/
https://drwilda.com/2013/05/16/a-charter-school-for-young-entrepreneuers-shows-the-diversity-of-charters/

Brenda Cronin reported in the Wall Street Journal article, Charter School Benefits Extend Beyond Classroom:

The benefits of a charter school extend well beyond higher test scores and academic performance. Students at the Promise Academy in Harlem fared better than their peers in and outside the classroom, with lower rates of incarceration and teen pregnancy, new research shows.
Harvard’s Roland G. Fryer, Jr. and Princeton’s Will Dobbie tracked more than 400 sixth-grade students who won spots at the Promise Academy, a turbo-charged charter school in Harlem, through lotteries in 2005 and 2006.
For their paper, “The Medium-Term Impacts of High-Achieving Charter Schools on Non-Test Score Outcomes,” the economists tapped data from the Harlem Children’s Zone, the New York City Department of Education and the National Student Clearinghouse. They also followed the students throughout high school and compared survey results with non-lottery winners. They found strikingly improved “human capital” and diminished “risky behaviors” among lottery winners — but note that this particular school, and its supportive environment, may not be representative of other high-performing charter schools.
The Promise Academy, in New York City, offers a particularly intensive program for at-risk neighborhood students. The school is located in the Harlem Children’s Zone, a 97-block area that offers a host of programs to promote social well-being and advancement to low-income families. More than 8,000 youth and 5,000 adults benefit from HCZ programs each year.
Students at the Promise Academy have longer school days and school years than their counterparts elsewhere. They also have access to after-school tutoring and weekend classes for remedial help in math and English. Teachers at the school are evaluated and receive incentives to improve performance. The authors note that the school employs “extensive data-driven monitoring to track student progress and differentiate instruction, with students who have not met the required benchmarks receiving small-group tutoring.”
That focus appears to be yielding results: surveys completed by the students — who were paid between $40 and $200 to participate — show that teenage girls who won the school lottery were 12.1 percentage points less likely to be pregnant; boys who won the lottery to Promise Academy were 4.3 percentage points less likely to be in prison or jail than counterparts who didn’t land spots in the school. Lottery winners scored higher on math and reading exams; they also were more likely to take and pass exams in courses such as chemistry and geometry. They also were 14.1 percentage points more likely to enroll in college.
Other survey questions revealed little difference between Promise Academy students and those not at the school in areas such as mental health, obesity, or drug and alcohol use.
http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2013/10/30/charter-school-benefits-extend-beyond-classroom/?mod=wsj_valettop_email

Citation:

The Medium-Term Impacts of High-Achieving Charter Schools on Non-Test Score Outcomes
Will Dobbie, Roland G. Fryer, Jr
NBER Working Paper No. 19581
Issued in October 2013
NBER Program(s): CH ED LS
High-performing charter schools can significantly increase the test scores of poor urban students. It is unclear whether these test score gains translate into improved outcomes later in life. We estimate the effects of high-performing charter schools on human capital, risky behaviors, and health outcomes using survey data from the Promise Academy in the Harlem Children’s Zone. Six years after the random admissions lottery, youth offered admission to the Promise Academy middle school score 0.283 standard deviations higher on a nationally-normed math achievement test and are 14.1 percentage points more likely to enroll in college. Admitted females are 12.1 percentage points less likely to be pregnant in their teens, and males are 4.3 percentage points less likely to be incarcerated. We find little impact of the Promise Academy on self-reported health. We conclude with speculative evidence that high-performing schools may be sufficient to significantly improve human capital and reduce certain risky behaviors among the poor.

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Moi wrote in Study: Charters forcing public schools to compete and improve: Marc J. Holley, Anna J. Egalite, and Martin F. Lueken wrote in the Education Next article, Competition with Charters Motivates Districts:

But in order for this to happen, districts must first recognize the need to compete for students and then make efforts to attract those students, who now have the chance to go elsewhere. Since 2007, enrollment in charter schools has jumped from 1.3 million to 2 million students, an increase of 59 percent. The school choice movement is gaining momentum, but are districts responding to the competition? In this study we investigate whether district officials in a position to influence policy and practice have begun to respond to competitive pressure from school choice in new ways. Specifically, we probe whether district officials in urban settings across the country believe they need to compete for students. If they do, what is the nature of their response?
A small number of studies and numerous media reports have attempted to capture the reactions of public school officials to these new threats to their enrollments and revenues. A few reports of obstructionist behavior by districts stand out and have been chronicled in these pages by Joe Williams (“Games Charter Opponents Play,” features, Winter 2007) and Nelson Smith (“Whose School Buildings Are They, Anyway?” features, Fall 2012). Yet our evidence suggests that the dynamics described in Williams’s report of guerilla turf wars may be evolving in many locations to reflect new political circumstances and the growing popularity of a burgeoning charter sector.
To explore the influence of school choice on district policy and practice, we scoured media sources for evidence of urban public-school districts’ responses to charter competition. Our express purpose was to catalog levels of competition awareness and types of responses by public school officials and their representatives. Our search retrieved more than 8,000 print and online media reports in the past five years (since the 2007 Williams article) from 12 urban locations in the United States. We then reviewed minutes from school board meetings, district web sites, and other district artifacts to verify if, in fact, the practices and policies described in media reports have occurred.
We selected cities according to specific criteria. We chose three urban districts with high percentages of minority and low-income students (at least 60 percent on both counts) in each region (Northeast, Midwest, South, West). In addition, districts in our sample needed to have a minimum of 6 percent of students in choice schools, the level Caroline Hoxby identified as a threshold above which districts could reasonably be expected to respond to competitive pressure (see “Rising Tide,” research, Winter 2001). Finally, we sought to include cities across the range of choice-school market shares within each geographic region, so long as they were above the 6 percent threshold (see Figure 1)….
The ground war between charter schools and their opponents described by Joe Williams has begun to shift. As the charter sector continues to expand, some of its competitors appear to be changing strategy. Where school districts once responded with indifference, symbolic gestures, or open hostility, we are starting to see a broadening of responses, perhaps fueled by acceptance that the charter sector will continue to thrive, or by knowledge that many charters are providing examples of ways to raise academic achievement.
Traditional public schools are aware of the threats posed by alternative education providers, but they are analyzing the moves made by competitors and demonstrating that they may have the savvy to reflect, replicate, experiment, and enter into partnerships with school choice providers. This evidence suggests that while bureaucratic change may often be slow, it may be a mistake to underestimate the capacity of these bureaucratic institutions to reform, adapt, and adjust in light of changing environments. http://educationnext.org/competition-with-charters-motivates-districts/

The conclusion of the study was that charters were forcing public schools to compete in the marketplace. 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.
https://drwilda.com/2013/08/13/study-charters-forcing-public-schools-to-compete-and-improve/

Related:

Brookings report: What failing public schools can learn from charters? https://drwilda.com/2012/11/10/brookings-report-what-failing-public-schools-can-learn-from-charters/

Good or bad? Charter schools and segregation https://drwilda.com/2012/02/23/good-or-bad-charter-schools-and-segregation/

Focus on charter schools: There must be accountability https://drwilda.com/2011/12/24/focus-on-charter-schools-there-must-be-accountability/

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