Boston Charter Schools Can’t Lose: Another Random Assignment No-Doubter

(Guest Post by Collin Hitt)

Another gold standard, random assignment study has found that Boston charter schools are producing large test score gains.Yesterday the Boston Foundation released the newest installment of its studies of Bean Town charters. It updates results from previous studies and finds continued, large test score gains for charter middle and high schools. From the study:

Since 2009, the middle school charter yearly gains for math are 0.23σ compared to 0.26σ overall and the gains for ELA are 0.15σ compared to 0.14σ overall. The comparison for charter high schools is similar. In recent years, the high school charter gains for math are 0.38σ compared to 0.35σ overall and the gains for ELA are 0.33σ compared to 0.27σ overall.

You will notice that these are yearly gains. The authors show that results are almost always stronger for poor and minority students, as well as English language learners. This kind of progress, for students of color, could easily eliminate the racial achievement gap over the course of middle and high school.

The report also looks at the question of whether charter schools effectively push out low-performing students. The authors find that charter middle schools are significantly less likely than other public schools to see their students transfer elsewhere. In high school, charter students for a time were more likely for a time to transfer out, but that trend has completely vanished since a state policy change regarding charter enrollment rules in 2010 – a time since which the test score results of charter high schools have improved.

So, we have another random assignment study finding gains for charter school students. We have another study dispelling the myth that charter schools push out their students.

Soon we should expect a retraction from all the people who’ve made evidence-free claims to the contrary. Right?

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One Response to Boston Charter Schools Can’t Lose: Another Random Assignment No-Doubter

  1. Matthew Ladner says:

    Absolutely, but don’t hold your breathe while waiting.

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