Her new study, "How New York City's Charter Schools Affect Achievement," shows that charter students, typically from more disadvantaged families in places like Harlem, perform almost as well as students in affluent suburbs like Scarsdale. Because there are more applicants than spaces, New York admits charter students with a lottery system. The study nullifies any self-selection bias by comparing students who attend charters only with those who applied for admission through the lottery, but did not get in. "Lottery-based studies," notes Ms. Hoxby, "are scientific and more reliable."
According to the study, the most comprehensive of its kind to date, New York charter applicants are more likely than the average New York family to be black, poor and living in homes with adults who possess fewer education credentials. But positive results already begin to emerge by the third grade: The average charter student is scoring 5.8 points higher than his lotteried-out peers in math and 5.3 points higher in English. In grades four through eight, the charter student jumps ahead by 5 more points each year in math and 3.6 points each year in English.
Charter students are also shrinking the learning gap between low-income minorities and more affluent whites. "On average," the report concludes, "a student who attended a charter school for all of the grades kindergarten through eight would close about 86% of the 'Scarsdale-Harlem achievement gap' in math and 66% of the achievement gap in English."
The New York results are not unique. In a separate study, Ms. Hoxby found Chicago's charters performing even better than the Big Apple's. Using the same methodology, other researchers have seen similar results in Boston.Charters are also a bargain for taxpayers. Nationwide on average, per-pupil spending is 61% that of surrounding public schools.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Same old news is good news
A new charter school study has come out. This one confirms what other studies have shown: charter schools outperform regular public schools. So, nothing new here, but it's important to continue to note the mounting evidence.
Posted by Freeven at -- 7:04 AM