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Study: Charter school students learning more

by Celeste Bott
South Bend Tribune
March 11, 2013

An average Michigan charter school student will learn more in a year than his or her public school peer, according to a new report by Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes.

The study found that students from Michigan charter schools learn an average of two month’s more of math and reading per academic year.

Twenty-seven percent of the state’s charter school students are from Detroit, and Detroit charter school students gained up to three months’ worth of additional education, it said.

Charter schools are publicly funded but can be privately run. They were established in part so that individual schools could have more independence over curriculum and teaching staff.

Margaret Raymond, director of the center, praised Michigan’s charter school practices, especially given problems that districts like Detroit face.

“These findings show that Michigan has set policies for charter schools to produce consistent high quality across the state,” Raymond said. “The results are especially welcome for students in communities that face significant education challenges.”

It is the center’s first in-depth study of charter schools in the state. A total of 85,650 students attend 276 charters in the state. For the study, 61 schools were too small to be analyzed, resulting in a total study sample of 212 charters.

Not all of the findings were favorable to the alternative public schools, however.

For example, 14 percent of Michigan charter schools showed below average growth and achievement, and 25 percent of students perform below average in math.

Devora Davis, a co-author of the report, attributed those conflicting numbers to the use of averages — there are both struggling charters and high-performing charters that distort the data.

The poor performances are offset by the growing proportion of charters with high-level achievement, Davis said.

“Should these trends continue, the share of schools which currently lag

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NYC Charter Achievement Positive Across Multiple Studies

February 20, 2013

The latest CREDO report looks at New York City charter school achievement and finds generally positive results.

CREDO research on other cities and states, like the Michigan report released in January, has generally yielded positive results. But perhaps more interesting is the fact that NYC CREDO findings are in line with work done by other researchers studying New York City charter schools. Check out the studies below for more on charter schools in the Big Apple:

How NYC Charter Schools Affect Achievement:
This study done by Caroline M. Hoxby employs quality charter school research methodology and finds that NYC charter school students will learn more over time than those students who remain in conventional public schools.

The State of the NYC Charter School Sector:
This report from the New York City Charter School Center gives an in-depth look into the city’s charter schools data, demographics and achievement, and indicates that charter schools continue to be a viable alternative for parents looking to better their children’s education in the Big Apple.

And for those of you scratching your head as to why you’ve heard the acronym CREDO before, it may have been because of a controversial and widely cited national report from 2009. Here’s some background to help you out: All About CREDO.


New SAT Analysis: We’re Dropping Back

“Learning is like rowing upstream – to not advance is to drop back.” – Chinese proverb.

Well, get ready to go backward … again. Analysis of college-bound seniors’ 2011 SAT scores shows that student improvement is going nowhere, and that Hispanic and African-American students continue to face a wide achievement gap.

When you take into account this year’s SAT analysis and recent ACT scores, which reveal that only 25 percent of the 2011 class could meet the benchmarks for college readiness in all four core subjects, it’s no surprise that we’re dropping back.

The United States has slipped from 12th to 16th globally in college education attainment, according to a report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

How much more writing needs to be on the wall before we reach a consensus that how we continue to educate our kids is not working?

We’re not adequately preparing our K-12 students for college and therefore we’re falling behind other nations both educationally and economically. It’s time that we all step back, admit it’s not working, and then work to reform our education system to emphasize student achievement.

We, and especially our kids, need a system that puts students first and rallies against the backward trends evident in our education system.

Heading Back to School, U.S. Students Face Continued Crisis

CER Press Release
Washington, DC
August 25, 2009

As students all over the country head back to school this year, what is their likelihood of succeeding? A quick look at four recent indicators of school success – and attitudes surrounding it – are cause for concern:

Lagging Internationally – The U.S. still trails other countries in international comparisons. In reading, students in Italy, Hungary, Russia and Hong Kong outperformed U.S. fourth grade students, who remain in the lower quarter among all participating countries. Math scores, while improving, have not caught up with Asian countries, and U.S. 15 year olds are less successful in applying their skills than students in most other OECD countries.

Lagging at home – ACT scores for the last year of test takers have not changed either, with only 23% of students who take the test meeting standards in all 4 subjects tested. A nearly 5-point gap remains between whites and blacks, whose college readiness stands at 4%. SAT scores, released today, will tell a similar story.

Americans’ attitudes – Ongoing poll results show that most Americans know very little about the problems plaguing their own schools, and those of the nation as a whole, and show even less understanding of common sense reforms that can help fix the problem. The new PDK/Gallup poll due out tomorrow is expected to show that while increasing numbers of Americans support education reforms, they still believe the problems are largely in someone else’s community.

As Americans fight the continued economic crisis and try to bolster their country’s competitive edge, the educational crisis that persists threatens both.

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