Charter students go farther with same scores

According to a Rand study, charter middle students who go on to charter high schools don’t have higher test scores than similar non-charter students, but they are more likely to graduate and go to college.

Researchers found that students from charter middle schools who attended charter high schools were between 7 and 15 percentage points more likely to graduate. They also concluded that students at charter high schools were between 8 and 10 percentage points more likely to go to college.

The study found no evidence charters “cream” the best students: Students who transferred to charters had below-average test scores.

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Comments

  1. However, this ignores the elephant in the room – college graduation. Many advocates like to tout the admission of students to college. That’s not the important number. How many graduate college?

    Currently, the US sends nearly three-quarters of high school graduates to college, yet only 41% earn a degree. Thus, getting them into college serves to be a huge waste of time and money for many.

    Until schools can track the “six-year window” after high school, we will continue to focus on the wrong number and mis-serve a huge number of students.

  2. You might want to touch base with proponents of affirmative action, Mike. They’ve been blithely ignoring graduation rates for twenty-five years.

    And of course there’s the studied ignoring of the little statistic – “students from charter middle schools who attended charter high schools were between 7 and 15 percentage points more likely to graduate”. Despite the widespread denigration of a high school diploma it’s still better then the alternative and charters provide a clear advantage in this regard to students most likely to need any advantage.

  3. From the RAND report summary:

    “White students, who constituted a minority of charter entrants
    in all sites, deviated from the general pattern somewhat: In most sites,
    white students entering charter schools were, on average, slightly higher
    achieving than the white students in their previous schools.”

    A hint that charter schools could have different impacts on different communities.