Study: Charter competition boosts public schools

Milwaukee public schools improve when they face competition from an independent charter school, according to a study by Hiren Nisar, now an analyst at Abt Associates. Black and low-achieving students show the greatest gains.

Milwaukee’s district-sponsored charters don’t trigger significant improvement in traditional public schools, concluded Nisar, who did the research for his University of Wisconsin doctoral thesis. He theorizes that principals don’t feel as much pressure to make changes that will persuade parents to keep their children at the traditional school.


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