Expert Commentary

Charter school effects on achievement, integration and competition

2009 RAND Corporation study based on data from more than 600 charter schools.

charter school (iStock)

Since the first charter school opened in the late 1980s, more than 4,000 have been established. The charter school movement is not without its critics, of course, and some argue that an approach that works in one area may bring about different results in another.

A 2009 RAND Corporation study, “Charter Schools in Eight States: Effects on Achievement, Attainment Integration and Competition,” looks at data from more than 600 charter schools.

The study’s findings include:

  • Reading and math performance showed insignificant changes in five jurisdictions and small decreases in two.
  • Charter high schools’ rates of graduation and college matriculation improved in the two jurisdictions with data.
  • There was no evidence that average public-school student achievement increased or decreased in response to establishment of charter schools; that charter schools skimmed high-achieving students from public schools; or that charter schools led to increased racial or ethnic stratification.

Tags: charter schools, Hispanic, Latino, race, African-American

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