What does the research say about charter schools?

Recent research reports showing mixed results from charter schools have led to charges on both sides of the charter school divide. Those opposed to charter schools charge that the research shows they have failed. Those supporting them say the research shows they have promise but too many are not doing well. I summarize two of the reports here. Also a recently added a supplement describing how to use the NAEP tool to evaluate charter school performance.

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11 Responses to What does the research say about charter schools?

  1. 3RsPlus says:

    Both groups are right. Charter schools are a failure for at least three reasons.

    One.
    They were proposed as a way of introducing “choice.” But charter schools look a lot like garden variety schools. The differences are superficial, largely rhetorical. What we see throughout the elhi system is variability–within classes, between classes within schools, and between schools. The variables determining the differences relate to individual-specific characteristics of the students and the professional personnel involved. Charter schools have not provided “choice.”

    Two.
    Charter schools were to have introduced “competition.” That hasn’t happened. Charter schools don’t pay any attention to what other charter schools are doing, and neither do garden variety schools. It’s akin to the parallel play of little kids in a huge sandbox. They’re all doing the same thing, more or less, but each is acting independently.

    Three.
    Charter schools were to introduce “best business practices.” What they have introduced is greater opportunity for graft, corruption, and segregation.

    Charter schools would have promise if the granting of a Charter were to involve answering a few questions:
    –What do you want to do differently?
    –How are you going to know that you’ve done it?
    –How long and how much money is it going to take to deliver “proof of concept”?

    Most of the charters would not involve “whole schools” since whole schools don’t need to be fixed, any more than whole people need to be fixed. Whole schools and whole people can be changed, but it is a very time-consuming and problematic proposition.

    Cultures, subcultures, and individuals are distinguished by the tools/artifacts/products/protocols they use. Elhi is still at a hunter-gatherer level of culture, with each teacher trying to fill the day, week, and year with activities that will “meet the needs of individual children. This was feasible in the days of the one-room schoolhouse, but it’s dysfunctional today.

  2. Bruce Thompson says:

    I added a link to my summary of two research reports (the most wide-ranging), I think. Interesting that both found stronger results from charters serving low-income kids.
    One answer to the problem of mixed results is to get charter authorizers to do a better job. It would be very beneficial if the researchers took the next step and looked at whether the criteria the authorizers use effectively distinguishes between effective and ineffective schools.

  3. And why does the AFT hate them so?..In part most charters succeed because as a long line of research shows they embrace their teachers and parents as partners. The Commonwealth Foundation http://www.CommonwealthFoundation.org is a public policy research and educational institute based in Harrisburg PA. The report includes an overview of the growth of school choice programs around the country a roundup of recent school choice research and a profile of each states school choice program…Here are some of the highlights ….More …

  4. business says:

    It s the same approach Let s kill all the school boards let s have mayoral control and let s wipe out democracy in education because we have all the answers. .Armed with an encyclopedic command of education research Ravitch said data is often manipulated and used for political ends. Ravitch scoffed at the timing of that decision noting the inflated scores were used in New York s Race to the Top application..She called the Obama administration s Race to the Top grant program a bad bargain. Some districts she said will be granting control of their educational policy to the state for only a few thousand dollars.. What you ll get are more privately managed charter schools even though the research shows they don t get better results than traditional public schools you ll get more pressure for merit pay even though the research shows that it has not achieved desired outcomes Ravitch warned.

  5. Two points for another team of fifth- and sixth-graders.Sit next to a parent for a minute here in Mishawakas Beiger Elementary School and ask about one of the many education reform bills that have divided Democratic and Republican legislators driving Democrats to hide out in Illinois.Charter schools?Noah Jeffcoat admits hes foggy on exactly what a charter school is. Can you define it? But ask this Mishawaka father whether hed even think about checking out a charter school for one of his kids.Nope says Jeffcoat an affirmed supporter of public schools. I dont see why youd take what little money they public schools have and thin it out even more he says.That is a key argument against House Bill 1002 which would allow charter schools to multiply across Indiana beyond the 62 that now exist.Another dad at the game Kevin Campbell says of the money argument I get that. But he also feels that charter schools would add a healthy dose of competition pushing public schools to think about how to do things better. At least wed have options he said.But would they be better options?

  6. Marra said.Jonathan Plucker a researcher of charters at Indiana University said he was excited about the charter school option because of the hope that it would create change.The promise for me was they were going to be big drivers of innovation. I just dont think were seeing that right now…Comparison is tough….Research has yet to definitively show whether charters or public schools have better performance. His claim Those students outperform transfer students on the ISTEP standardized test with a 70 percent versus 30 percent passing rate of both English language arts and math.Officials on both sides of the debate cite statistics to support their claims that one side outperforms the other but little research exists proving either sides point especially at the local level.According to a November 2010 survey by Braun Research for the Foundation for Educational Choice only 17 percent of Allen County voters opposed charter schools .Fort Wayne Community Schools board President Mark GiaQuinta said the charters versus public schools conversation is not about competition or which school outperforms the other citing proximity as the main reason parents choose charter schools.No matter where you put a school it will be closer to someone he said.GiaQuinta also cited dramatic gains in public schools on standardized test scores.

  7. And why does the AFT hate them so?..In part most charters succeed because as a long line of research shows they embrace their teachers and parents as partners. The Commonwealth Foundation http://www.CommonwealthFoundation.org is a public policy research and educational institute based in Harrisburg PA.

  8. hemp says:

    How about research along these lines rather than the repeated flawed and unhelpful existing studies?…………………….This entry was written by posted on .

  9. Sugel says:

    How about research along these lines rather than the repeated flawed and unhelpful existing studies?……………………Posted on ……. ………… These are some of the best and most useful parts of the book evidencing considerable research..Weissberg skewers movements like diversity and equity as distracting for educators and destructive to goals of academic achievement. It tells a story of a K-12 progressive school Jefferson County Open School Colorado that combined the best features from research and practice such as strong advisory system personal learning plan learner centered environment world as classroom service learning travel study and competency based graduation.

  10. Monex fraud says:

    They get no allowance for facility costs including maintenance…Since 2002 when the charter law was approved in Tennessee 16 schools have sprung up across the state 13 are in Memphis a reflection of need experts say…What the campaign interest means is hard to pinpoint says Steven Ross executive director of the Center for Research and Educational Policy at University of Memphis…As public schools struggle with funding low test scores and entrenched motivation issues he says charters could be the model for the how 21st century education is delivered… Charters have an obligation of demonstrating best practices not routine practices. Charter schools are schools we can learn from. ..At Star Academy — one of two schools honored in 2008 by the Tennessee Department of Education for high achievement among lower-performing student populations — the emphasis is literacy reading comprehension and mathematics…Boys and girls in kindergarten through third grade are in separate classrooms because research shows they learn at different rates…Students are tested every Friday.

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