Charter schools: For better and for worse


Doug Belden in the PiPress reports on a new national study of charter schools that shows that 17 percent of charters perform better than public schools, 37 percent perform worse, and 47 percent deliver about the same quality of education as public schools. Both nationally and in Minnesota, charter school students who are enrolled for at least three years show better outcomes.

In Minnesota, black students at charter schools showed greater improvement in reading than their public school counterparts. Overall, however, the specific report on Minnesota found that “The typical student in a Minnesota charter school learns significantly less than their virtual counterparts in their feeder pool in reading and significantly less in mathematics.”

The multi-year national study by Stanford’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) focused on 16 states, and covered more than 70 percent of all U.S. students attending charter schools. It found wide variations in quality among charter schools. The study included detailed, separate reports on fifteen states and the District of Columbia.

CREDO director Dr. Margaret Raymond said in a press release:

The issue of quality is the most pressing problem that the charter school movement faces. The charter school movement continues to work hard to remove barriers to charter school entry into the market, making notable strides to level the playing field and improve access to facilities funding, but now it needs to equally focus on removing the barriers to exit, which means closing underperforming schools.

News with attitude, mostly from MN but with occasional forays abroad.News Day summarizes, links to, and comments on reports from news media around the world, with particular attention to Minnesota news.