Posts by Anna Nicotera



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Federal Data Resources for Information on Public Charter Schools

In 2013, the U.S. Department of Education released a number of new data resources that provide great information about public charter schools. As the year comes to a close, here is a rundown of all the new releases that help inform our work:

  • Achievement Results for State Assessments in Reading/Language Arts and Mathematics: For the first time, performance data that the U.S. Department of Education collects from state departments of education through EDFactswas made publicly available. The files include data for all public schools across the country and are available for the 2008-09 through 2011-12 school years. The data files for four years can be accessed through
  • Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rates: Also available through are school-level four-year adjusted cohort graduation rates for the 2010-11 school year. Not only is this the first time that graduation rate data for all public schools has been available from one data source, but it is the first time that school-level graduation rate data using the same measure (i.e., four-year cohort) has been available from all states.
  • 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP): In November, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released 2013 NAEP results in mathematics and reading for fourth and eighth graders. There is a helpful online data explorer that can be used to compare public charter school and non-charter school data at the national, state, and district levels.
  • Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS): NCES also released the 2011-12 administration of SASS data, which includes descriptive statistics about teachers and school leaders in public charter schools and non-charter schools across the country. This is the best source of information about school personnel. For an overview of the charter school data, check out our blog write-up.
  • School Improvement Grant (SIG): If you are interested in a list of public schools eligible for school improvement grants (SIG) and schools that have received SIG grants, you can find information here.
  • Common Core of Data (CCD)The Common Core of Data (CCD), a complete listing of public schools along with descriptive information about the schools, is available through the 2010-11 school year, with a preliminary data file available for 2011-12. We expect that the full 2011-12 data file will be released in early 2014 and the preliminary 2012-13 data file should be released shortly after that.

Looking for more? The National Alliance’s Public Charter School Dashboard provides additional data on public charter schools and is a comprehensive resource for pulling data about individual school districts, states, and nationwide. The National Charter School Resource Center’s National Authorizer – Charter School Catalog is also a helpful database for charter school authorizers. Be sure to keep up with the latest available information about your state or school by checking out these sites.

Anna Nicotera is the senior director of research at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.


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How Do Charter School Students Compare to International Peers? New Test to Reveal the Answer

Next week, results from the 2012 administration of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) will be released. PISA is an international assessment covering math, reading, and science administered every three years to a sample of 15-year-old students in roughly 70 countries. OECD and a number of partner organizations will host a webinar on December 3, 2013 to discuss the results. (Information about the webinar can be found at

The PISA results will likely receive significant media attention. Even though international assessments tend to show the United States performing in the middle of the pack, there is always great interest in seeing how our students stack up against their international peers.

While the results are a valuable benchmark, they don’t breakdown individual school performance. Fortunately, that is starting to change. Earlier this year, OECD released results for 100 high schools across the United States that participated in a pilot assessment aligned to PISA called the OECD Test for Schools. Two charter schools, BASIS Tucson North and North Star Academy, performed extraordinarily well on assessment. In fact, students from BASIS Tucson North topped the scores, out-performing every single country in reading, math, and science.

The OECD Test for Schools is officially launching in the 2013-14 school year, and any high school can sign up to administer the assessment to their 15-year-old students. Schools will take the assessment in the spring of 2014 and receive results and detailed reports in the summer. The National Alliance has partnered with the Kern Family Foundation to provide subsidies to a limited number of charter high schools to take the assessment. There are still opportunities for charter high schools to sign up with the National Alliance and take advantage of the subsidy. Interested schools should reach out to the National Alliance for more information.

Anna Nicotera is the senior director of research at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.


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New Study: Why the Gap? Special Education and New York City Charter Schools

When the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report in 2012 finding that charter schools, on average, served a smaller proportion of students with disabilities than district-run public schools, there was a lot of speculation—but little empirical evidence—about the causes for the differences in rates (see the figure below from the GAO report).

Sped Gap Study1











A new study, Why the Gap? Special Education and New York City Charter Schools, released today by the Center for Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) and the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research thoroughly examines some of the common theories for the differences in special education rates using student-level data. The study follows four cohorts of kindergartners who enrolled in public charter schools and traditional public schools from 2008-2009 through 2011-2012 to look at special education enrollment rates between types of schools, the characteristics of students who apply to charter schools, special education classification trends over time, and the mobility of special education and regular education students between types of schools. The study finds that:

  • Results confirm that there is a gap in special education enrollment in NYC between charter schools and traditional public schools. The study finds that the gap in the rate of enrollment was primarily because students with specific types of disabilities, like autism or speech or language impairments, were less likely to apply to charter schools in kindergarten than students without these special needs.
  • Over time, the gap in special education rates increased. However, the primary reasons charter schools enrolled a lower rate of special education students was because students in charter schools were significantly less likely to be newly classified as having a disability and were more likely to have their disability declassified compared with students in traditional public schools.
  • There is not find evidence that charter schools refused to admit or pushed out students with disabilities. The study finds that more students with previous Individual Education Programs (IEPs) entered charter schools rather than exited charter schools after kindergarten.
  • Students classified as special education, whether they attended charter schools or traditional public schools, were highly mobile. In both types of schools, nearly a third of students who received special education services left their schools by the fourth year in the study, but students in traditional public schools were more likely to exit.

The study’s results should give policymakers pause when considering regulations that set universal requirements that charter schools serve the same percentage of special education students as traditional public schools. The study notes:

Our results suggest that regulations focusing on students who have already enrolled in charter schools are unlikely to succeed in closing the special education gap. The growth in the gap is not primarily determined by students with IEPs leaving the charter sector. Rather, the gap grows primarily because charter school students are less likely than traditional public school students to be newly placed into special education and are more likely to have their disability declassified. Absent an increase in the percentage of students with disabilities who apply to charter schools, regulations requiring charter schools to meet certain thresholds for the percentage of their students in special education could end up forcing charter schools to push for disability diagnoses for students who otherwise would have avoided the designation.

More studies like this one are needed so we can rigorously examine the practices of charter schools and traditional public schools so that we aren’t left to speculate about why there may be differences in the percentage of special needs students enrolled in charter and traditional public schools.

Anna Nicotera is the senior director of research at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.


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Expeditionary Learning Charter Middle Schools Perform Well in Washington, D.C.

Researchers at Mathematica examined the performance of students who attended a sample of five Expeditionary Learning (EL) middle schools and found that students who attended these types of schools performed better than similar students in both math and reading. The report notes, “Compared with national norms for middle-school learning growth, our results suggest that EL students experience impacts that are large enough to accumulate about an extra seven months of learning growth in reading and 10 months of extra learning growth in math after three years.” The study, Impacts of Five Expeditionary Learning Middle Schools on Academic Achievement, looked at two charter schools in D.C. (Capital City Upper and Lower Schools) and three traditional public schools in NYC.

Expeditionary Learning is an instructional model focused on project-based learning. EL incorporates discovery, inquiry, critical thinking, and problem-solving into student learning. Students in EL schools engage in original research, learning expeditions, fieldwork, and service learning, and then projects that are shared with audiences outside of the classroom and school. Here are some examples of how EL works at Capital City Public Charter School.

In a survey of public charter schools in 2012, NAPCS found that nearly 30 percent of responding charter schools used project-based learning as an instructional strategy. Charter schools use a wide range of instructional approaches to create high-quality learning environments for students. However, research often lumps all charter schools into one category when examining performance and does not distinguish between the types of strategies used by schools. This study, while limited to a handful of schools, is a step forward in understanding whether different models used by charter schools are effective in producing large gains in student learning.

Anna Nicotera is the senior director of research at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.


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What Works Clearinghouse: Charter School Studies

Last week the New York Times profiled the U.S. Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse (WWC), a department within the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). Established in 2002, WWC intends to be the go-to resource for evidence-based educational practices. Thus far, WWC has reviewed over 6,000 studies that evaluate the effectiveness of educational practices, programs, and policies. WWC provides summary information about the studies, as well as a WWC rating based on the strength of the evidence of its effectiveness. The WWC ratings are:

  • Meets Evidence Standards without Reservations: “The highest possible rating for a study reviewed by the WWC. Studies receiving this rating provide the highest degree of confidence that an observed effect was caused by the intervention. Only well-implemented randomized controlled trials and regression discontinuity designs that do not have problems with attrition may receive this highest rating.”
  • Meets Evidence Standards with Reservations: “The middle possible rating for a study reviewed by the WWC. Studies receiving this rating provide a lower degree of confidence that an observed effect was caused by the intervention. Randomized controlled trials and regression discontinuity designs that are not as well implemented or have problems with attrition, along with strong quasi-experimental designs, may receive this rating.”
  • Does Not Meet Evidence Standards: “A study with a low level of causal evidence. This is the rating given to studies with causal research designs that were not implemented rigorously enough to conclude with confidence that the intervention caused the observed changes in outcomes.”

However, as a go-to resource, WWC has fallen short in the area of the effectiveness of charter schools, with only 12 studies reviewed to date:


Charter School Study Review WWC Rating
National Charter School Study 2013



Meets Evidence Standards with Reservations
Charter Schools and the Road to College Readiness: The Effects on College Preparation, Attendance and Choice Meets Evidence Standards without Reservations
Charter School Performance in New Jersey Meets Evidence Standards with Reservations
Charter-School Management Organizations: Diverse Strategies and Diverse Student Impacts Meets Evidence Standards with Reservations
Charter School Performance in Indiana Meets Evidence Standards with Reservations
The Evaluation of Charter School Impacts: Final Report Meets Evidence Standards without Reservations
Charter School Performance in New York City Meets Evidence Standards with Reservations
Multiple Choice: Charter School Performance in 16 States Meets Evidence Standards with Reservations
Charter School Performance in Los Angeles Unified School District: A District and Neighborhood Matched Comparison Analysis Does Not Meet Evidence Standards
Are High-Quality Schools Enough to Close the Achievement Gap? Evidence from a Social Experiment in Harlem Meets Evidence Standards without Reservations
San Francisco Bay Area KIPP Schools: A Study of Early Implementation and Achievement Meets Evidence Standards with Reservations
Student Characteristics and Achievement in 22 KIPP Middle Schools Meets Evidence Standards with Reservations


While the WWC summaries are great resources for obtaining quick information about overall results and the quality of the study’s methodological design, WWC does not provide summaries or reviews for the comprehensive set of high-quality charter school studies. The 2010 Betts & Tang charter school meta-analysis included 25 studies, and NAPCS released a summary of 13 additional high-quality charter school studies that have been released since the 2010 meta-analysis. With growing attention to WWC as a valuable resource for educators and policymakers, we encourage WWC to review the entire set of eligible charter school studies. Otherwise, visitors to WWC may not be aware of the growing trend of studies showing positive results for charter schools.

Anna Nicotera is the senior director of research at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.


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New Public Charter School Teacher and Principal Statistics

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) recently released an early look at results from the 2011-2012 Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS).SASS is administered every four years and provides the best set of statistics on the characteristics of teachers and principals across the country. The table below presents information from the 2007-2008 and 2011-2012 administrations of SASS. Here are several interesting data points:

  •  The number of full-time teachers in public charter schools grew by 60 percent between 2007-2008 and 2011-2012. This is compared with a 2 percent drop in the number of teachers in traditional public schools.
  • A larger percentage of teachers and principals in public charter schools were Hispanic and Black compared with teachers and principals in traditional public schools in 2011-2012.
  • On average, teachers in public charter schools were younger than teachers in traditional public schools in 2011-2012.
  • The average teacher in a public charter school made $8,900 less than the average teacher in a traditional public school in 2011-2012. The average principal in a charter school made $11,000 less than the average principal in a traditional public school.
  • On average, teachers and principals in public charter schools work slightly more hours per week than teachers and principals in traditional public schools.

Characteristics of Teachers and Principals, Schools and Staffing Survey (2007-2008 & 2011-2012)


  Public Charter Schools Traditional Public Schools
  2011-2012 2007-2008 2011-2012 2007-2008
Total Number 115,600 72,430 3,269,500 3,332,090
Race / Ethnicity        
Hispanic 13.1% 9.3% 7.6% 7.0%
White 69.9% 72.9% 82.3% 83.3%
Black 11.8% 12.3% 6.6% 6.9%
Other 5.2% 5.5% 3.5% 2.8%
Less than bachelor’s 4.1% 1.9% 3.8% 0.8%
Bachelor’s degree 52.3% 62.2% 39.4% 47.0%
Master’s degree 37.3% 30.0% 48.0% 44.9%
Higher than a master’s degree 6.3% 6.0% 8.8% 7.3%
Average age of teachers 37.4 37.9 42.6 42.3
Median age of teachers 34.2 34.7 41.2 41.6
Average base salary $44,500 $40,800 $53,400 $49,800
Average # of years teaching experience 8.7 7.5 14.0 13.1
Average # of years teaching at current school 3.6 3.9 8.1 8.5
Average total hours of work per week 53.5 54.4 52.2 52.8
Total Number 4,460 3,550 85,350 86,920
Race / Ethnicity        
Hispanic 11.7% 9.3% 6.6% 6.4%
White 65.0% 66.3% 81.0% 81.5%
Black 18.3% 21.7% 9.7% 10.2%
Other 5.0% 2.7% 2.7% 2.0%
Bachelor’s degree or less 16.5% 11.7% 1.4% 1.0%
Master’s degree 59.2% 57.3% 61.8% 61.2%
Doctorate or first professional degree 8.0% 14.5% 10.0% 8.2%
Average annual salary $80,100 $77,900 $91,100 $86,100
Average # of total years of experience 5.9 6.6 7.2 7.5
Average # of years at current school 3.3 3.5 4.2 4.3
Average total hours of work per week 59.2 58.2 58.0 58.4



Source: National Center for Education Statistics


If you’re interested in further information about what attracts teachers to public charter schools, take a look at our issue brief that examines the practices public charter schools employ to hire the teachers they need. Like all public school leaders, charter school leaders want to hire talented and passionate teachers that will boost student achievement and contribute to a thriving school culture. Further, charter school leaders are attuned to whether a teacher is a good fit for the unique mission of their public charter school.

Anna Nicotera is the senior director of research at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

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Charter School Research Roundup

Several interesting reports on charter schools came across our desks this past week. Here’s a roundup.

Study Links High Quality Charter Schools and College Attendance

While evidence is mounting that public charter schools, on average, increase student performance, the data on whether high-performing charter schools impact post-secondary outcomes has been quite limited beyond anecdotes. However, the shortage of studies focusing on post-secondary charter school outcomes appears to be changing. Earlier this summer we wrote about a study that showed that students enrolled in over-subscribed Boston charter schools were more likely to enroll in four-year colleges than students who attended traditional public schools. Now, a new study by Will Dobbie and Roland G. Fryer shows that students who won the lottery to attend the Harlem Children’s Zone Promise Academy Charter School in sixth grade were 21 percent more likely to attend a four-year college than students who lost the lottery and attended a traditional public school. The study also included combined data from DSSTMatch EducationNoble, and Summit Preparatory Charter High School. Enrollment at these four high-performing charter high schools resulted in a 6 percent increase in the likelihood of attending a four-year college. Studies that examine outcomes beyond standardized test scores are the new frontier for charter school research and will provide important context regarding the impact of charter school beyond high school graduation.

Louisiana Charters Outperform District Peers—Especially in New Orleans

Louisiana public charter schools are the newest focus in a series of state-based reports on charter school performance by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University. Using data for students in grades 3-8 from 2005-06 through 2010-11 school years, the study finds that public charter school students in Louisiana on average gain an additional two months of learning in reading and three months in math compared with their traditional public school peers. Even more dramatically, the results jump to an additional four months of learning in reading and five additional months of learning in math for charter students in New Orleans. This is especially great news since the New Orleans Public School System serves thehighest percentage of public charter school students—76 percent charter enrollment—in the nation.

New York Provides Preview to Common Core Assessment Results

Last week, 2012-2013 New York state assessment results were released. The results garnered a great deal of attention because the new test is aligned to the Common Core State Standards and as a result, proficiency rates in math and reading for many schools decreased significantly. Compared with traditional public schools, the Northeast Charter Schools Network reported, “Charter schools performed as well as the state average in mathematics, but underperformed the state in English language arts.” Although there are several charter schools that performed quite well on the new, more rigorous assessment. The New York City Charter School Center reported that several NYC charter school networks (Success AcademyIcahn Charter School,Achievement First, and Uncommon Schools) and independent charter schools (South Bronx Classical Charter School and Bronx Charter School for Excellence) posted impressive scores. As Common Core is implemented and assessed in additional states, it will be interesting to see which charter schools emerge as high performers.

Competition for Public Charter Schools Spurs District Improvement

One of the foundational concepts behind public charter schools was that the introduction of charters into the public school system would create a competitive marketplace, and the pressure to attract and retain students would raise the performance of all public schools within the system. A new analysis reported in Education Next scoured media reports and district records to catalogue the awareness and subsequent actions that 12 urban districts took in response to competitive pressure from public charter schools. The district responses were categorized as constructive (seven categories of actions such as allocating resources more efficiently or an increased responsiveness to student needs) or obstructive (six types of actions such as attempts to block charter growth by limiting access to buildings or adding burdensome bureaucratic requirements).

Overall, all 12 districts demonstrated awareness that parents had alternative options through public charter schools. All districts showed some form of constructive response, with eight of the 12 districts taking steps to collaborate with charters. At least one district in the Midwest, south and west engaged in obstructive action, while no districts in the northeast displayed this response. While the relationship between charter schools and districts isn’t to “kumbaya” collaboration levels yet, the level of outright hostility has lessened and opened the door to best-practice sharing to serve all public school students—regardless of school governance structure.

Anna Nicotera is the senior director of research and Nora Kern is the senior manager of research at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

Image via CREDO website


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A New Guide to Teacher Merit Pay

One of the greatest flexibilities given to public charter schools is the ability to design their own personnel policies when it comes to recruiting, hiring, and retaining teachers. For many charter schools, this includes the use of “merit pay” for teachers.

For the first several years of its operation, the charter school that I serve on the board of used a traditional single-salary structure that was identical to one used by the school district. Our board and school leader recognized that the traditional system did not provide us the flexibility we needed to compensate teachers based on outcomes or, more importantly, give us the tools needed to retain excellent teachers. We removed the annual step increases based on earned degrees and replaced it with a system that takes into account the qualifications, experiences, and annual outcomes we expect from the teaching staff. We also reviewed average salaries in nearby school districts to make sure that we remained competitive. The new system includes an incentive component based on individual teacher and school-wide student performance goals. We based the system on examples from other charter schools in the area, but it would have been nice to have had evidence from around the country to inform the development of our teacher compensation system.

An aptly titled new book, A Straightforward Guide to Teacher Merit Pay, by researchers Gary Ritter and Joshua Barnett, provides a great resource for public charter schools and charter networks that may be in the process of implementing merit pay or revising an existing compensation system. The book pulls together existing research on merit pay and provides sound advice for developing a system that will work within the context of the school. I plan to bring the book to my board this year when we review our compensation system.

In addition to providing solid information about the principles of a well-crafted teacher merit pay system, the book includes a chapter that presents evidence-based responses to 12 common criticisms of merit pay systems. You may have heard some of them:

  • Teacher merit is too hard to measure.
  • Merit pay would unfairly reward the teachers of the brightest students and further discourage teachers from working with low-performing students.
  • The use of merit pay will further encourage the unhealthy strategy of “teaching to the test.”

The discussion of these criticisms is presented in a well-reasoned way that would allow for a healthier debate on the use of merit pay.






Photo via google images


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NAPCS Releases 2012-2013 National Public Charter School Waiting List Estimate

NAPCS released its estimate of the 2012-2013 national public charter school waiting list today. We estimate that there were 920,000 student names on waiting lists before the first day of school in the fall of 2012. NAPCS defines a public charter school waiting list as the total number of applications minus the total number of available seats.

Public charter school waiting list data provide evidence of parental demand for public schools of choice—for years NAPCS has shown large numbers of students nationwide applying to attend charter schools (see waiting list estimates from earlier years here). However, raw waiting list data can overestimate the number of students who would like to attend public charter schools, if families apply to more than one charter school. This year, NAPCS convened a working group with researchers from the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) and the New York City Charter School Center(NYCCSC) to develop methodological strategies to account for the duplication of charter school applications.

To estimate the overall waiting list number, NAPCS collected charter school waiting list data from four state departments of education and 10 state charter support organizations, and surveyed charter schools in the remaining 27 states with charter schools. Of the charter schools that responded to our survey, 68 percent indicated that they had a waiting list to enroll before the first day of the 2012-2013 school year.

We used a multiple imputation approach to estimate missing waiting list numbers for non-responding schools. To account for possible duplicate applications, the working group agreed that NAPCS should apply a discount rate of 1.63 to the waiting list estimates of public charter schools where there was at least one other charter school with overlapping grade levels within 10 miles. The 1.63 discount came from the average number of applications students submitted when applying to charter schools with paper applications in New York City. For the majority of charter schools across the country, students have to apply separately to charter schools, mimicking the paper application process in NYC. We did not discount the estimated waiting lists for isolated charter schools, under the assumption that it would be unlikely that families would apply to multiple charter schools farther than 10 miles apart.

Based on the discounting strategy, NAPCS estimates that there were roughly 520,000 individual students on waiting lists to attend public charter schools across the country before the start of the 2012-2013 school year. The average charter school enrolls 382 students. The discounted national waiting list estimate of 520,000 could have filled an additional 1,361 charter schools. We would need to grow the number of public charter schools by nearly 25 percent in order to accommodate all of the students on the estimated discounted national waiting list.

Waitlist blog-1











Alexis Osifo, 10, is the last person called in Ivy Preparatory Academy’s lottery. Image via Brant Sanderlin for the Atlanta Journal Constitution.


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CREDO Releases New National Public Charter Schools Study

Today CREDO released an update to its 2009 study of public charter schools in 16 states. The 2013 study includes charter schools in 27 states through the 2010-2011 school year, covering 95 percent of students attending charter schools across the country. Overall, the 2013 CREDO study found that students in public charter schools are outperforming their traditional public school peers in reading, adding an average seven days of learning per year, and performing as well as students in traditional public schools in math.

The 2013 CREDO study compared the performance of public charter schools with traditional public schools in their local markets and found that the percentage of charter schools outperforming traditional public schools grew from 17 percent in 2009 to 29 percent in 2013. Moreover, the percentage of charter schools that underperformed traditional public schools dropped from 39 percent in 2009 to 31 percent in 2013. The distribution shows a positive growth in the percentage of schools that perform better or the same as traditional public schools in from 63 percent in 2009 to 69 percent in 2013. The percent of charter schools that perform as well or better than traditional public schools in reading was 81 percent (CREDO did not report the quality growth curve for reading in the 2009 study).

CREDO table





Source: CREDO

The 2013 study showed positive results in math and reading for many subgroups, including Black students, students in poverty, English Language Learners (ELL), and students in Special Education (see table below). Particularly large was the impact of attending charter schools for Hispanic students who were also categorized as ELL. For ELL Hispanic students, attending a charter school resulted in 50 additional days of learning in reading and 43 additional days of learning in math.

Reading Math
Standard Deviations Days of Learning Standard Deviations Days of Learning
Overall 0.01** 7 -0.005 0
Black 0.02** 14 0.02** 14
Poverty 0.04** 29 0.05** 36
Hispanic 0.00 0 -0.01 0
Poverty 0.02** 14 0.03** 22
ELL 0.07** 50 0.06** 43
White -0.02** -14 -0.07** -50
Asian -0.01 0 -0.04* -29
Poverty 0.02** 14 0.03** 22
ELL 0.05** 36 0.05** 36
Special Education 0.01 0 0.02** 14
Grade Levels
Elementary 0.03** 22 0.02** 14
Middle 0.04** 29 0.05** 36
High 0.00 0 0.00 0
Multi-Level -0.02** 14 -0.07** -50
CMO 0.01 0 0.00 0
Non-CMO 0.01** 7 -0.01 0
Years in Charter
1 Year -0.06** -43 -0.08** -58
2 Years 0.03** 22 0.02** 14
3 Years 0.06** 43 0.03** 22
4+ Years 0.07** 50 0.06** 43

Source: CREDO


The 2013 CREDO results are consistent with an overall trend among more recent high quality charter school studies that show a positive impact on student performance (see here and here). The positive trends in student performance reflect a strong focus on quality and accountability in the charter sector, but there is more work to be done to ensure that all public charter schools provide great learning opportunities for students.