Andrew Maul and Abby McClelland, University of Colorado Boulder
Since 2009, the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at StanfordUniversity has produced a series of reports on the performance of charter schools relativeto traditional public schools (TPSs). These reports seek to inform ongoing conversationsamong policymakers and researchers regarding whether charter schools are likely togenerate better outcomes than TPSs overall. The reports also explore whether these effectsmight be especially pronounced for members of particular subgroups, such as studentsfrom minority racial/ethnic backgrounds and from less socioeconomically advantaged backgrounds.
CREDO’s latest study,
National Charter School Study 2013
employs a methodologicalapproach highly similar to their previous reports. The study concludes that, overall,
charter schools perform better now than they had in 2009 in terms of students’ scores on
mathematics and reading tests, to the point they now perform on par with traditionalpublic schools (students in charter schools were estimated to score approximately 0.01standard deviations higher on reading tests and 0.005 standard deviations lower on mathtests than their peers in TPSs).
II. Findings and Conclusions of the Report
Based on data on 1,532,506 charter students and a matched group of students intraditional public schools furnished by the departments of education from the 27 statesexamined in this study (which are stated, collectively, to conta
in 95% of the nation’s
charter students), the report presents a large number of conclusions, including thefollowing:
On average, it was estimated that students in charter schools in the 16 statesstudied in 2009 fare better on academic tests relative to their peers in traditionalpublic schools in 2013 than they did in 2009. On reading tests, charter students were estimated to score 0.01 standard deviations lower than their TPS peers in2009, but such students are estimated to score 0.01 standard deviations higher in