The Charter Blog

How to help victims of Hurricane Harvey

As the 2017-18 school year begins for students nationwide, the horrible impact that Hurricane Harvey has had on Texas’s families weighs heavily on the hearts and minds of students, teachers, and leaders from across the country.
 
We’ve heard from several of our colleagues in Texas and have begun sharing on social media the different ways our network can help. Please join the National Alliance in supporting those impacted by donating to these fundraisers combating the horrific effects that Hurricane Harvey has had on their school’s community.
 
While the strength of the charter school movement comes from our ability to be different and innovative we have never stopped uplifting each other in a time of need. Please help those in Texas’s school community that are in need of dire support.
 
You can donate to the victims of Hurricane Harvey by clicking on any of the below links.

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School Closures Are Just One Part of Building a Better Public School System

The Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University released their new study on public school closures titled “Lights Off: Practice and Impact of Closing Low-Performing Schools.” Utilizing student-level data from 26 states, CREDO looked at the performance of schools before they closed and the impact on displaced students after their school closed. Between 2006-07 and 2012-13, CREDO identified 1,522 low-performing, full-time, and non-alternative public schools that closed—of which 1,204 where district schools and 318 were charter schools. Schools were labeled as low-performing if their average math and reading scores were in the bottom 20 percent of their state distribution.

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Posted in Research

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 Note on Charlottesville

The past few days have been difficult and horrifying—from Friday night’s terrifying torch march, to the grotesque murder of Heather Heyer, to the President’s astonishing remarks yesterday.

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Good Data and Diverse Analysts: Necessities Within Education

Despite the many debates occurring within the education space, everyone can agree that students should come first. Within data work, putting students first means performing comprehensive, unbiased, and detailed analyses of data to understand how schools impact their students. Some of the most important factors to do this research include accessing the best data possible, making logical comparisons at the proper level, and having diverse data and research teams.

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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

New York City Charter Schools Lift Scores in Nearby Traditional Public Schools

A new publication released by Temple University analyzes the spillover effects of public charter schools in New York City neighborhoods. The report by Sarah Cordes, titled “In Pursuit of the Common Good: The Spillover Effects of Charter Schools on Public School Students in New York City,” finds evidence that the closer a public charter is to a traditional public school, the higher traditional public school students will score on Math and Language Arts assessments. Cordes is one of the first researchers to tackle how charter schools’ proximity affects academic performance of neighboring traditional public schools, with special consideration given to traditional and charter public schools located in the same building. Charter schools can benefit financially from co-locating with traditional public schools, as it can help alleviate certain facilities, maintenance, and upkeep costs. Cordes wanted to discover whether these blended-style buildings had a symbiotic relationship, or ultimately proved detrimental to students due to resource constraints.

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Posted in Research

July Monthly Update

Like many of you, the team at the National Alliance is using the summer months to take stock of our successes over the past six months and plan ahead for improvements.

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Posted in monthly newsletter

The FERPA Fear Factor

Good researchers need good data. The National Alliance releases reports on charter school enrollment share and estimated charter school enrollment every year, and we depend on our state partners to collect and release necessary data so we can give appropriate policy recommendations.

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Posted in Research, FERPA

Listening to Learn: How Collaboration and Interactive Technology Can Boost Student Success

In the course of helping students succeed throughout the classroom-to-career journey, many of us confront a recurring irony. While worrisome, it serves as a good catalyst for thinking proactively about student success. By far, the biggest reason students cite for dropping out of college is difficulty with their personal finances. Regardless of the specific reason for leaving, most are in good academic standing when they leave school. In other words, a nonacademic factor – financial stress – is heavily influencing academic outcomes. What better time is there to be proactive about one of the biggest risks to college completion than early in the college experience (or even before it begins)? At Student Connections, helping schools and students do just that is one way we are helping improve postsecondary outcomes.

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Posted in NCSC17