The Charter Blog

Susan Aud Pendergrass

Recent Posts

How Charter Schools are Staffing to Meet Student Needs

Today the National Center for Education Statistics released a First Look at the characteristics of public schools in the U.S. using data gathered by the 2015-16 National Teachers and Principal Survey. This is a nationally representative survey that includes samples for both public charter and traditional public schools. And, like the two previous releases of data from this survey, the results suggest that charter schools and traditional public schools serve similar percentages of students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch (50 percent) and students with disabilities (10 percent vs. 12 percent for charter schools and traditional public schools, respectively). Further, nearly every public school (99 percent), both charter and traditional, serves at least one student with an individualized education plan (IEP), while about three-quarters (72 percent for charter schools and 77 percent for traditional public schools) serve at least one student who is an English language learner.

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Posted in Research

A First Look at Public School Leaders

The National Center for Education Statistics released a First Look at the data in 2015-16 National Teacher and Principals Survey (NTPS) and there are some interesting numbers in there. Because the tables break out principals in traditional public schools and principals in charter schools, they provide a chance to see where these leaders are similar and where they’re different.

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Posted in Research

Charter Schools Can Help Renew America’s Cities

One thing is clear, today’s parents want, and expect, to choose their child’s public school. As this expectation has emerged and solidified in the last couple of decades with the availability of charter schools, a body of research has grown around the impact that a parent’s choice has on their student’s academic performance. Improving school outcomes for students is the obvious rationale for implementing education policy. However, policies can have unintended consequences and research is increasingly being done on the impact of parental choice in public education on communities.

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Posted in Research

Number of Students Attending Charter Schools Surpasses 3 Million

Each year, as the holidays end and school is back in session, the National Alliance determines the number of currently operating charter schools and estimates the number of students who attend them. Figuring out the number of schools is not that complicated. We simply ask each state for the names of any new charter public schools that opened this schoolyear and for the names of any that were open last year, but did not re-open in the fall. To estimate the number of students, we collect charter school enrollment data from any states that have already released numbers for the current school year, typically based on counts taken in October. And, for states that have not yet released data, we estimate the number of students in each currently operating charter school, on a school-by-school basis, either based on their own growth rates or, for new schools, on state-level average growth rates and average school size.

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Posted in Research

Nuevos Resultados de NAEP Muestran que Escuelas Charters Tienen Beneficio Para Estudiantes Hispanos

Han pasado seis años desde que el National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) divulgó los resultados de su evaluación de ciencias delos estudiantes de 4to grado y de 12o grado y cuatro años para la evaluación de los estudiantes de 8o grado. Como la mayoría de las divulgaciones de NAEP, hay algunas buenas noticias y algunas malas.  Desde 2009, los estudiantes de 4to grado y 8o grado han visto un incremento en sus notas de cuatro puntos, mientras que para los estudiantes de 12o grado no se reportaron cambios. Las brechas de género han sido prácticamente eliminadas en términos generales, mientras las brechas entre negros y blancos, y entre hispanos y blancos se han reducido ligeramente a nivel de 4to grado.

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Posted in Research, NAEP, student achievement

New NAEP Science Scores Show Charters Work for Hispanic Students

It has been six years since the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) released scores on their Science assessment for 4th graders and 12th graders and 4 years for 8th graders. Like most NAEP releases, there is a little good news and a little bad news. Since 2009, 4th graders and 8th graders have seen their scores go up by about 4 points, while there was no change for 12th graders. Gender score gaps have been nearly eliminated across the board and the gaps between Blacks and Whites and Hispanics and Whites have declined slightly at the 4th grade. The most exciting finding for me - the results show that charter schools work for Hispanic students. 

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Posted in Research, NAEP, student achievement

The Negativity's Not Working: Public Support for Charter Schools Remains High

 As parents are getting backpacks ready and kids are heading off for another school year, there are tons of stories on social media about their excitement (okay, maybe not for every kid), their love for their school and general school spirit. I’m sure this is true for students at all kinds of schools – district public, charter public, and private.

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Posted in Research

Understanding the Impact of Charter Schools on Post-Secondary Achievement

"Charter school students earn less!" Not really. Researchers recently found that the charter school students who graduated from 40 "regular" charter schools in Texas in 2003 and went on to Texas colleges and worked in Texas in 2011, earned $300 less per year than their non-charter school peers with the same pathway. Students who followed that path, but went to "No Excuses" charter schools earned about $100 per year more than their peers. But, truthfully, but there wasn't enough data to make either statement statistically sound.

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Posted in Research

Understanding Diversity in Our Schools

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released a report this week that summarizes the status and trends for racial and ethnic groups in our education system. Given the changing racial and ethnic composition of the U.S., it is important to understand how students from different backgrounds and cultures approach education, as well as how they are served by our education system.

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Posted in Research

“A coordinated effort to decimate public schools” – did I read that right?

Oh my goodness – “A coordinated effort to decimate public schools” – did I read that right?

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Posted in Research, Parents, Truth About Charters, Wait Lists, Parent Demand