Students who won lotteries to get into charter middle schools performed no better in reading and math than lottery losers who enrolled in nearby district-run schools, concludes a federally commissioned study (pdf) involving 36 charter middle schools in 15 states. Behavior and attendance was similar as well, but parent satisfaction was higher for charter parents.
However, urban charter schools serving low-income students outperformed nearby schools, concludes the study by Mathematica Policy Research.
“Generally, we found that these charter schools were more effective for more low-income, lower-achieving students,” Ms. Silverberg said, “and less effective for higher-income, higher-achieving students.
Researchers found a wide range of results: Some charter schools are working very well and some are not.
Charter schools receive less funding — $9,883 per student compared to $12,863 per student — than district-run schools, concludes another study, Equal or Fair?, reported in Answer Sheet.
Gary Miron and Jessica L. Urschel of Western Michigan University, looked at 2006-07 data (the latest available) for 1,675 charter schools in 22 states.