Tag Archives: charter school

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.

Performance of charter vs traditional public schools

Ladd, Clotfelter, and Holbein offer new measures comparing the performance of charter schools to traditional public schools in North Carolina. Here’s their picture for math. So charter schools used to be a little behind and now they perform more or less … Continue reading

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  1. “neither a disaster nor a panacea” but charters seem to have improved over time relative to district schools (in NC). http://t.co/WfLmxxlDme

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Charter schools and property values

As anyone with kids who’s house-shopped lately can tell you, good schools raise property values–sometimes a lot. So one way to ask whether charter schools are good schools is to see whether the arrival of charter schools in a neighborhood raises … Continue reading

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  1. The evidence is probably more that good *students* raise property values.//Charter schools and property values http://t.co/KsQlhSwQZP

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Charter schools improving

Some of the more ideological education reforms have favored charter schools as something of a magical solution. Increase choice and the market will fix all problems. There is solid evidence that a small number of charter schools perform splendidly, however … Continue reading

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Scaling success

Wednesday’s post reported on a field experiment by Roland Fryer in which he imported a number of charter school techniques into low-performing Houston schools. The techniques made a very large difference in student outcomes in math (not in reading though). The changes … Continue reading

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Taking charter school practices to the public schools

Some charter schools are enormously effective. Can specific practices from successful such charter schools be transplanted into regular public schools, bringing their success along with them? A real field experiment run by Roland Fryer suggests that enormous gains can be … Continue reading

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Optimistic news on the longer run effects of charter schools

The received wisdom is that there isn’t much difference between charter school performance and the performance of other public schools, with some of the newer evidence being that certain kinds of charters, those following the “no-excuses” model do indeed get … Continue reading

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  1. l hodge says:

    Those that leave a charter after 8th grade would be similar to those that stay? That is a completely unreasonable assumption.

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The Promise Academy and mid-term results

Will Dobbie and Roland Fryer return with a new look at medium-term results of charter schools, most specifically the Harlem Promise Academy. Most evaluation of education policy looks at test scores, in part because they’re easily measurable. This is subject to … Continue reading

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Explaining charter school effectiveness

“Explaining charter school effectiveness” is the title of newly published work by Angrist, Pathak, and Walters. The general evidence on charter schools is that on average they’re neither better nor worse than other public schools. What A., P., & W. … Continue reading

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Are you allowed to take AP courses?

I’ve put together a couple of pictures on the availability of AP courses to students in high schools. Over a third of schools do not offer AP courses. Two thirds of charter schools don’t offer AP courses. What surprised me … Continue reading

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  1. Whenever you’re wondering about school policies, you really need to break it down into those basic categories:

    90-1005 URM schools, charter or comprehensive, that commit fraud because the bulk of their students are operating at 8th grade ability or lower.

    Title I suburban schools that are 50-65% URM, but with a solid population of high ability, high performing whites or Asians. They can’t commit fraud, but they can’t track because of lawsuits.

    Homogeneous suburban schools, predominantly white or Asian. They can track, and if they have URMs, they just relegate them to the lower track. Not enough of them to sue.

    Majority minority schools not only allow, but in the case of charter schools require everyone to take AP. That’s because it’s an easy way for them to qualify for Jay Mathew’s Challenge Index. Moreover, since all the students are low ability, the teachers can teach anything they like, give the kids As even if they have sixth grade abilities (quite common), and basically commit fraud.

    Title I suburban schools with large URM population are pretty much forced to offer open enrollment, because otherwise they get sued or otherwise blamed for racial disparities. In fact, they often target black or Hispanic kids and do a full court press to convince them to sign up for AP. These are the schools that are often forced to lower standards and quality of instruction to avoid failing all the URMs they convinced to take the course.

    Rich or homogenous (white or Asian) suburban schools require students to test into AP, or set a GPA requirement, or teacher recommendation. Thus, they routinely deny high ability kids access to the weighted GPA and resume-boosting AP classes despite the fact that practically everyone applying to these courses are more skilled than the URM kids in the open or forced enrollment classes.

    I don’t know why these high ability, homogeneous suburban schools just don’t open more AP classes, but I suspect it’s because they want a clear rating/ranking of their students.

  2. Glynis says:

    That question isn’t particularly clear, though. Look at what Garfield has to say about it: “AP courses are open to any and all
    students who have completed the necessary pre-requisites,
    and not all AP courses have pre-requisites.” Which sounds like students can self select, except it depends on whether “any” in the survey question means ‘all’ or ‘at least one’. In the latter, Garfield allows self selection, and the former, it doesn’t.

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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 … Continue reading

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  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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