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Category Archive for 'Research'

Last week Education Next published an article entitled “Choosing the Right Growth Measure” that compares three types of growth models and claims that the “best” model is a two-step value-added model (VAM) that fully controls for student characteristics (e.g., race, gender, free or reduced-price lunch eligibility, English-language-learner status, special education status). The authors claim that […]

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Guest Post from Robin Lake, Director of the Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) at the University of Washington One of the most pervasive criticisms of charter schools is that they either find ways around accepting or strategically counsel out students with special needs. These criticisms have been fueled both by anecdote and by reports […]

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A recent story in the Columbus Dispatch detailed the creative ways that low-performing charter schools in Ohio are avoiding closure. According to the report, “some schools have avoided the state’s charter-closing laws after enrolling more students with disabilities, which exempted them. Others were closed by their sponsors for poor performance only to find a new […]

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When people talk about “market accountability” for charter schools, they’re usually referring to parents; you have to keep attracting “customers” in the form of parents and students, or you close. But because they are so often denied public facilities funding, many charters must look to a different kind of market – and to the bankers […]

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The new CREDO study on charter school performance was released two weeks ago, and it continues to make a big splash. It included great news about the strength of charter performance in producing better results overall in reading and closing the achievement gap for African-American and Hispanic students. While it was the primary focus of […]

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The latest study by CREDO on charter school performance has generated a predictable wave of commentary and coverage.  Like previous work from Macke Raymond and her colleagues at CREDO, there is a lot of interesting information in the full study.  The next few weeks will bring a series of commentaries that examine different slices of […]

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Today the Center for Education Reform published a report labeling the move toward independent, statewide authorizing commissions as a “dangerous trend.”  Our conclusion based on research and experience couldn’t be more different.  NACSA supports the establishment of statewide charter school commissions because they offer the best opportunity to achieve not just more charter schools but […]

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Today we released our 5th annual report on NACSA’s authorizer survey results: The State of Charter School Authorizing 2012. Its release each year leads me to reflect on how the authorizing sector is changing, how much it has improved and what challenges still lie ahead. Certain findings deserve particular attention: More of the nation’s authorizers […]

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Adam Emerson at the Fordham Institute has crafted a thoughtful analysis of governance in the modern charter school sector. I recommend it. Authorizers will probably be particularly interested in the report’s discussion of the various models of network governance that have emerged in the two decades since charters were first created and which  have become more […]

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Robin Lake and I wrote a commentary about special education in charter schools for Ed Week that was released yesterday.  Earlier this year, Robin Lake and her colleagues at CRPE examined enrollment of students with disabilities in New York’s charter schools and traditional public schools in a study commissioned by NACSA. Robin and I discussed the study and its implications in an Ed Week […]

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A new report, Searching for Excellence: A Five-City, Cross-State Comparison of Charter School Quality, by researchers at Public Impact and published by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute examines charter school performance in five cities, Albany, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, and Indianapolis and finds that overall the charter sector in these cities outperformed their local district schools. They also found, though, […]

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A new report from the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University (CREDO) “found that the typical student in a Massachusetts charter school gains more learning in a year than his or her district school peer, amounting to about one and a half more months of learning per year in reading and two and […]

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NACSA’s president and CEO, Greg Richmond, issued the following statement regarding the KIPP Middle Schools: Impacts on Achievement and Other Outcomes study released yesterday by Mathematica Policy Research: “Today’s Mathematica Policy Research study on the positive results produced by KIPP charter schools is welcome news for the many children in America who don’t have the opportunity to attend a […]

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Mathematica Policy Research, a nonpartisan research firm, has released a new study of KIPP middle schools. The study, funded by Atlantic Philanthropies, found that “The average impact of KIPP on student achievement is positive, statistically significant, and educationally substantial.” According to the authors, the study found that KIPP middle schools have positive and statistically significant impacts on […]

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The charter promise is not, “We will give you a charter to run a public school and flexibility from many of the rules and regulations constraining traditional schools.  But if you fail to achieve what you promise to achieve we will insist that you submit a plan that outlines what you might do about it […]

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Do struggling charter schools need a “mercy rule“? As in Little League baseball, sometimes things start out so badly for one team that you just need to step in and stop the game early. The latest study by Macke Raymond and her colleagues at CREDO prompted this question for me. I recommend reading the whole […]

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The Charter School Growth and Replication study released last week by Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) has important implications for charter authorizers. The study’s key findings–that charter school performance is established early in the school’s first term and does not change over time and that performance is consistent among a charter management organization’s […]

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Earlier this week, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NAPCS) released its annual market share report (PDF). The report shows that charter school enrollment continues to grow rapidly. From 2010-11 to 2011-12, charter school enrollment grew by 13 percent. The report also shows that in many cities, including some of the nation’s largest urban districts, […]

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