Charters help local public schools

New York City’s charter schools benefit neighborhood public schools, concludes a study by Marcus Winters, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

. . .  for every 1 percent of public school students who leave for a charter, reading proficiency among those who remain increases by about 0.02 standard deviations. Math performance is unaffected. However, the lowest-performing students in a school benefit from charter-school competition in both math and reading.

Competition from charter schools pushes the local school to improve instruction for the remaining students, Winters suggests.

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  1. Margo/Mom says:

    It always strikes me how responsive a group is that group of kids on the bottom. It seems as though no matter what you do, things improve most for that particular group.

  2. I teach 6th grade at a charter school. Some (not all) of the students we receive as new students at the 6th grade level are kids that are clearly failing at the local school. Parents think a change of locale will magically fix their child’s problem. Unfortunately, the “geographical cure” rarely works. The end result is that the public school district scores improve (by eliminating the lowest scoring children) and the charter school, with fewer financial and personnel resources, is hammered for under performing the district. The score movement of the local district is not going to be large because there are not a huge number of charter spots available. The impact on the charter’s test scores with the smaller student number base can be pretty dramatic.

  3. correlation, but not causasation hence the supposition on why.

    as importantly, using student transfers is a nice proxy, but by looking at who left between grades at a school, it misses the decision to enter the charter school at the initial grade.

    I would be curious if the grade level (or even just elementary/middle/high school level) mattered


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