Welcome to the Profit of Education website. Continuing the conversation begun in the book Profit of Education, we discuss the latest economic evidence on education reform.

Charter schools: KIPP in Lynn, MA

Do charter schools work? Getting good statistical evidence is tough because parents who work to get their kids into a charter school are special (If you haven’t already, go see Waiting for Superman). We might expect their kids to outperform others whether the charter school is really superior or not. A recent article by Joshua Angrist, Susan Dynarski, Thomas Kane, Parag Pathak, and Christopher Walters took a really clever approach to untangling the devoted-to-education-parent effect from the real charter school effect.

Because it was oversubscribed, the Lynn, Massachusetts KIPP charter school chose students by a random lottery. Admitted students and those turned away all had parents who’d gone to a special effort, so we know that the outcome of getting in would be due to the school rather than parental differences. The authors were able to use the Massachusetts student-tracking system to look at later test results for lottery winners and losers. Bottom line? The kids who lucked into KIPP Lynn substantially outperformed those who lost the lottery.

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One Response to Charter schools: KIPP in Lynn, MA

  1. MS says:

    How much can we legitimately extrapolate from the effect of KIPP to the effect of charter schools in general? Is there any good research out there on the variation in charter school quality?

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