Charter School Research Round-Up: Positive Results in Texas & New York’s Spillover Effect
August 10, 2017

Two recent studies have reported on the positive effects of charter schools, both for the students they serve and students in nearby schools.

The latest study from Stanford University’s Center for Research on Educational Outcomes (CREDO) focuses on charter school performance in Texas. CREDO’s report analyzes charter students’ performance from the 2011-2012 school year to the 2014-2015 school year. During this time, Texas passed Senate Bill 2, which created stricter charter school regulations.

Overall, Texas charter students showed stronger growth in reading (equivalent to 17 additional days of learning) and comparable growth in math as compared to their traditional public school peers. Additionally, compared to CREDO’s two previous studies of Texas charter schools, the state’s collective charter sector performance has improved.

“By shining a light on the public charter school movement in Texas, the esteemed researchers at CREDO have underscored what we know to be best practices in serving our students. Chief among these insights is that strong laws and accountability lead to a system of high-quality charter schools, in which even our nation’s most vulnerable students can succeed,” said Nina Rees, (National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NAPCS) president and CEO.

The CREDO report also analyzes the impact of independent charter schools compared to charter school networks, as well as the impact of online charter schools. Find the full text of CREDO’s study here.

Other researchers are looking beyond the walls of charter schools to identify broader educational impact. A recent study from Temple University found that charter schools have positive spillover effects on nearby traditional public schools (TPS) in New York. Specifically, students at traditional public schools within one mile of charter schools showed increased math and language arts performance by 0.02 standard deviations. When charters are co-located with traditional public schools, the positive effects are even stronger: TPS students showed an increase of 0.09 standard deviations in math, and 0.06 in language arts.

The study further explores effects on grade retention, as well as school climate and student engagement. Find the full text of Temple University’s study here.

Christina Dobratz

Christina is PIE Network's Project Manager, Communications & Policy  

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