The Charter Blog

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

Chicago Charter Schools Are Bridging the City’s College Divide

A college degree matters more than ever in today’s economy, and bridging the gap in college enrollment isn’t just an equity issue—it’s also an economic development issue. According to a recent report from Georgetown University, virtually all of the 11.6 million new jobs that have been created since the great recession have gone to workers with at least some college education and 72 percent of these jobs went to workers with at least a bachelor’s degree. Rapid economic change has also had a dramatic impact on the American workforce. For the first time, the report found that college graduates made up the largest portion of the workforce at 36 percent. Workers with at least some college education made up 34 percent of the workforce and those with a high school diploma or less made up just 30 percent. 

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Posted in Research, college prep, Chicago

Ohio Charter Schools Face Major Facilities Challenges

During the 2014-15 school year, the National Charter School Resource Center, the Colorado League of Charter Schools (the League), the Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools, and the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools collaborated to collect data and information about charter school facilities and facilities expenditures in the state of Ohio. A recently released report, An Analysis of the Charter School Facilities Landscape in Ohio, summarizes this important research. The data collection in Ohio was supported by the Charter School Facilities Initiative (CSFI), which is a national project developed by the League to research charter school facilities and facilities expenditures across the country.

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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

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

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

Building Better Narratives in Black Education

On September 15th, I attended an event hosted by the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), National Urban League, and the Education Post to showcase the release of their joint report, “Building Better Narratives in Black Education.” The event provided a forum within which African American leaders, including Dr. Michael Lomax, UNCF President and CEO, and Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League, could explore issues that serve as the motivation for the report itself: to “fundamentally chang[e] the narrative and face of education reform to meaningfully include Black voices, leaders and initiatives that truly have equity and Black student success at the core.”

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Posted in Research

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