An Examination of the Financial Health of Georgia's Start-up Charter Schools
Examining the liquidity, fund balance, step/fixed costs, and budget flexibility of public charter schools, Georgia State University researchers found a majority of Georgia's charters achieved a positive financial position (short-term ability to meet recurring expenses with recurring revenues).
Center for Education Reform's 2009 Accountability Report
This report offers a state-by-state look at public charter school closures and finds that 657 schools (nearly 13 percent) have closed, with financial problems or mismanagement the leading reasons cited. The largest number of closures have been in California (103), Arizona (96), and Florida (82) -- the three states with the largest numbers of public charter schools. No public charters have been closed in Hawaii, Iowa, Mississippi, Rhode Island, and Wyoming. The leading causes of closure were: "financial deficiencies caused by either low student enrollment or inequitable funding" (41%); "mismanagement" (27%); "poor academic performance" (14%); and "hostile policy environment" (10 percent).
Charter School Achievement: What We Know (Fifth Edition)
For five years, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools has published an annual review of studies on public charter school academic performance. This latest edition examines 140 individual studies and finds evidence that many public charter schools are helping to increase academic performance, graduation rates and college matriculation around the nation. Studies examining public charter schools in recent academic years show that public charter schools produce more instances of larger achievement gains in both math and reading when compared to the traditional public schools. Public charter high school graduation and college matriculation results are promising, with studies in Illinois and Florida showing public charter school students with higher ACT scores, higher graduation rates and a greater probability of attending college than students who attend traditional public schools. The author stresses that much more research on public charter school achievement needs to be done. She recommends more studies using more recent longitudinal student-level data to assess how well students in public charter schools are performing; more and better research to explain why some public charter schools perform so much better than other charter and non-charter schools; and, more research on public charter school graduation and college matriculation.
Charter Schools in Eight States: Effects on Achievement, Attainment, Integration, and Competition
This longitudinal study, conducted by RAND researchers, used student-level data to examine public charter schools in Chicago, San Diego, Philadelphia, Denver, Milwaukee, and the states of Ohio, Texas and Florida, and found mixed results. A primary finding was that students at public charter schools graduate and attend college at significantly higher rates than students at traditional public schools. Public charter school students were 7 percent to 15 percent more likely to graduate from high school and attend college than students at traditional public schools. The researchers also found little evidence that public charter schools are producing, on average, test score gains that differ substantially from those of traditional public schools. Public charter schools did not appear to have an effect (negative or positive) on the achievement of students in nearby district schools. In addition, children enrolling in public charter schools had similar academic achievement levels as those attending district schools (except in Ohio and Texas, where students entering public charter schools are substantially behind the achievement levels of their district peers).
Equity Overlooked: Charter Schools and Civil Rights Policy
Citing higher levels of segregation for black students in some public charter schools compared to traditional public schools, this new policy brief from the Civil Rights Project at the University of California calls on the federal government to work harder to help prevent segregation in charters. The brief calls for stepped-up federal monitoring of student demographics in charters, including tracking English-language-learners and students from low-income families. The authors write that "school choice, unless carefully constructed and implemented with consideration..., will almost always exacerbate inequality."
Hopes, Fears, & Reality: A Balanced Look at American Charter Schools in 2009
The National Charter School Research Project (NCSRP) at the University of Washington Center has published its fifth annual edition of "Hopes, Fears, & Reality." It contains several positive indicators about public charter schools' ability to improve public education. Researchers find that public charter school growth has been ?robust and consistent,? mostly in urban areas, suggesting steady appeal, especially from low-income and minority parents. The report also finds that high-performing public charter schools offer important lessons for other public schools. Namely, school culture must exude "a palpable urgency that communicates that the work is important," a tight alignment of lesson content with state curriculum, and frequent "formative assessments that mirror high-stakes test conditions and items."
Inside Urban Charter Schools
This book examines the operations and strategies of five consistently high-performing public charter schools in urban Massachusetts that serve significant numbers of children living in poverty. The authors find that, while the schools are unique in important ways, they share several common practices and approaches to educating children, including organizational structures that are coordinated and coherent -- every individual, program, system, structure, and decision has a defined role and works in concert toward the fulfillment of clear, widely embraced goals related to academic achievement.
KIPP Annual Report: 2008
In 2008, KIPP served nearly 17,000 students in 66 schools across the nation. This sixth annual report offers information about demographics, funding, facilities, and student achievement. The report shows that after four years at KIPP, 100 percent of KIPP eighth grade classes outperformed their district averages in both mathematics and reading/English language arts. The average KIPP student who stays with KIPP for four years starts fifth grade at the 41st percentile in math and the 31st percentile in reading. After four years at KIPP, these same students are performing at the 80th percentile in math and the 58th percentile in reading. While less than 20 percent of low-income students go to college nationwide, more than 85 percent of KIPP students from the original two KIPP Academies are matriculating to college.
Michigan Charter Public Schools Beating the Odds
A comparative analysis of the Math and English Language Arts (ELA) performance of Michigan's public charter school students against the statewide average and students in similar districts finds that 57 percent of all public charter schools earned individual grade/subject test scores exceeding the statewide average for all public school students. Fifty-two public charter schools have been recognized as "Beating the Odds" by the Michigan Department of Education for achieving over 60 percent proficiency in Math and ELA while having at least 60 percent of their students eligible for free or reduced priced lunch. Overall, 73 percent of public charter students were ranked proficient in Math, compared to 68.6 percent of students in similar traditional school districts. In English Language Arts, 69.3 percent of public charter students were ranked proficient compared to 64.5 percent of students in similar traditional school districts.
Nelson Smith: Charter Schools' Chief Advocate, a Profile in District Administration
In the September 2009 issue of District Administration
, Nelson Smith of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools discusses how district leaders in New York City and Washington, D.C. are using public charter schools to show how high performance can be achieved in struggling areas and how the presence of charters has pushed districts to improve in communities like Chula Vista, California and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Smith also discusses the myth that public charter schools drain funding from school districts. He names human capital as a serious challenge for the public charter school movement with as many as 14,000 or 16,000 new school leaders needed in the coming decade. And he discusses the growing interest in public charters among federal government officials, families, teachers, and administrators.
Profile of a Public Charter School Network: United Neighborhood Organization
profiles a network of public charter schools run by the Chicago-based United Neighborhood Organization (UNO), a Latino advocacy group. UNO operates nine public charters and recently received a $98 million grant from the state of Illinois to open new ones. In the past five years, more students in Chicago UNO schools have met or exceeded state standards than their peers in the regular public schools. The schools, which cater largely to Latino students, are expected to "assimilate" their populations into American society. In part, they do so by using an English-immersion approach rather than bilingual education. The directors are charged with having students grow academically by 1.5 grade levels each school year, a goal that leaders say about 60 percent of students in their K-8 schools in Chicago have reached.
School Choice & School Improvement National Invitational Conference: Research in State, District and Community Contexts, October 25-27, Vanderbilt University
The National Center on School Choice will host its second national conference which is designed to bring together exemplary research on education choice options, including public charter schools. The conference will focus on how communities, districts and states implement choice as a strategy for improving schools and student outcomes. The program will feature keynote speeches by Paul Vallas, superintendent in New Orleans and Henry Levin of Teachers College.
This article examines the public charter school co-op governance model where teachers organize as a worker cooperative or nonprofit to run schools collaboratively, sharing leadership tasks. The author examines the development, challenges and successes of two co-op public charter schools -- the Minnesota New Country School and the School for Urban Planning and Architecture.
This study, examining federal data from the 2003-04 school year on over 14,000 teachers from public charters and traditional public schools in 16 states, finds that the odds of a public charter school teacher leaving the profession or changing schools is 230 percent greater than the odds of a traditional public school teacher doing so. The higher turnover rate is due, in part, to the fact that public charter school teachers tend to be younger and less likely to hold regular teaching certificates. The authors found no linkage between higher turnover and public charter schools' personnel policies that make it easier to get rid of under-performing teachers.
The PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public's Attitudes Toward the Public Schools
The annual PDK/Gallup poll on public education shows a significant jump in public support for public charter schools?from 51 percent in 2008 to 64 percent this year. While almost two out of three Americans support public charter schools, they continue to admit confusion about whether they are public schools and whether they can charge tuition, teach religion, or select their own students.
Top 10 Charter Communities by Market Share
The public charter school movement continues to expand, with demand strongest in urban communities. In New Orleans, 57 percent of public school students are learning in public charter schools. Public charters now enroll more than one in five public school students in 14 communities, including major cities like Washington, Detroit, St. Louis, and Kansas City. The "Top 10" largest market share public charter school communities (including ties) are: New Orleans, LA (57%); Washington, D.C. (36%); Detroit, MI (32%); Kansas City, MO (29%); Dayton, OH (27%); Youngstown, OH (26%); St. Louis, MO (25%); Flint, MI (24%); Gary, IN (23%); Phoenix Union High School District, AZ (22%); and Minneapolis, MN (22%).
The "Top 10" communities with the greatest number of students enrolled in public charter schools are: Los Angeles, CA (59,122), Detroit, MI (43,035), Philadelphia, PA (32,579), Houston, TX (29,889), Chicago, IL (28,973), Washington, D.C. (25,729), Miami-Dade County, FL (23,865), New York City, NY (21,367), New Orleans, LA (20,068), and Broward County, FL (19,867).
2008 Education Next-PEPG Survey of Public Opinion
In this second annual national survey of U.S. adults conducted for Education Next and the Program on Education Policy and Governance (PEPG) at Harvard University, researchers find, as they did in 2007, a plurality of the overall public and every subgroup continue to support public charter schools. Forty-two percent of the public support public charter schools, while only 16 perfect oppose them. A considerable portion of the public (41%) remains undecided about public charter schools. An equal amount of public school teachers (33%) support and oppose public charters. The subgroups most likely to support public charters are Whites and African Americans (42%). Hispanics were more likely than the other groups to be undecided about public charters.
Annual Report on Georgia?s Charter Schools, 2007
Georgia's public charter school students are performing stronger academically than other public schools in meeting AYP, achieving higher graduation rates, making equal or greater performance on state tests, as well as receiving higher SAT scores According to the most recent statistics,. In 2007, the state's public charters made adequate yearly progress (AYP) at a somewhat higher rate than traditional public schools. In 2007, 85.1 percent of public charter schools made AYP, compared to 82.1 percent of traditional public schools. In every content area of the state Criterion Referenced Competency Test, public charter school student performance met or exceeded the performance of public school students generally. In 2007, 89.9 percent of fourth-year students in public charter high schools graduated, compared to 72.3 percent statewide. In all four content areas of the Georgia High School Graduation Test, public charter high school student performance exceeded the performance of public school students generally. In 2007, Georgia public charter high school seniors performed quite well on the SAT, averaging a combined score of 1667, which compares to a combined score of 1458 for traditional public school students and the national average of 1511.
Annual Survey of America?s Charter Schools, 2008
This document reports on the results of a survey that examines the management and environment of public charter schools around the nation. The survey, which was sent to approximately 4,100 schools (with a 20% response rate), harvested statistics and information related to size, scope, demographics, operations, and management of public charter schools. The authors report that in the 2007-08 school year, there were 4,128 public charter schools serving over 1.24 million students in 40 states and Washington, D.C. Responding public charter schools were small, enrolling on average 348 students, (nearly 35% less than traditional public schools). Fifty-nine percent of schools that responded to the survey said they have significant waiting lists, averaging 198 students in length. Nationally, the majority of public charter school students are minority (52%), at-risk (50%) and low-income (54%).
Calculating the Demand for Charter Schools
This report is the first to compile a Texas-specific waiting list for public charter school enrollment. Students around the state are waiting in line to attend a public charter school as evidenced by at least 16,810 students on school waiting lists. Public charter schools currently have a two percent market share in Texas. A waiting list as substantial as that demonstrates a sizable demand for more public charter school options. The authors suggest that policymakers in the state can help these students attend a public charter school by eliminating the legislative cap, lowering barriers to expansion, and reducing unnecessary regulations.