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Choice of Schools--Charter SchoolsSelected Research & Readings
 
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Choice of Schools
Choice of Schools--Charter Schools--Charter Districts
Choice of Schools--Magnet or Specialized Schools
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On Top of the World: Public Charter Schools and International Benchmarking - PISA, a signature OECD education initiative, is a test measuring reading, math and science administered in more than 70 countries. Results allow countries to compare their education systems to others' and many wanted a similar test for individual schools so they could benchmark to the world, hence development of the OECD test for schools. While this brief shows how public charters did on the test, it's important to remember any school could administer it. (Nora Kern, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, November 2014)...

The Health of the Public Charter School Movement: A State-by-State Analysis - Ranking 25 states and the District of Columbia on their public charter school movement in growth, innovation and quality, this report found the top two were Washington D.C. and Louisiana. They were highly rated because of multiple charter school options for families, the high numbers of low-income youth served and strong achievement gains. (Todd Ziebarth and Bierlein Palmer, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, October 2014)...

Breakthroughs in Time, Talent, and Technology: Next Generation Learning Models in Public Charter Schools - A look at next-generation schools operating today, this report concerns using time, talent and technology in innovative ways to support personalized learning. Models are Venture Academy in Minneapolis, Match Next in Boston, Ingenuity Prep in Washington D.C., and Summit Public Schools in the San Francisco Bay Area. (Shonaka Ellison and Gillian Locke, Public Impact for the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools, September 2014)...

2014 Charter School Facility Finance Landscape - An overview of current financing options from foundations and nonprofit financing organizations, this report also provides a description of the tax-exempt bond market for charter schools. It details federal and state policies as they concern charter school facilities, including tax credit programs, credit enhancement and loan programs. (Reena Abraham, et al., LISC Educational Facilities Finance Center, September 2014)...

Waiting Lists to Attend Charter Schools Top 1 Million Names - In 2013-14, there were an estimated 1,043,311 student names on waiting lists for charter schools. Taking into account the possibility that students were on multiple lists, it was estimated 586,511 individual students were waiting. (Nora Kern and Wentana Gebru, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, May 2014) ...

Staying or Going? Comparing Student Attrition Rates at New York Charter Schools with Nearby Traditional Public Schools - One of the major issues in the debate over the expansion of charter schools in New York City has been the question of whether students transfer out of charter schools at higher rates than at traditional public schools. Among the findings of this study: On average, students at charter schools stay at their schools at a higher rate than students at nearby traditional public schools; however, special education students were found to leave charter schools at a much higher rate. Those who stayed in the same school from kindergarten through 3rd grade did better on standardized math and reading tests in 3rd grade than students who switched schools....

A Growing Movement: America's Largest Charter School Communities - The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools tracks student enrollment in charter schools. Using 2012-2013 student enrollment, this report analyzes nation-wide charter school enrollment and identifies communities with the highest enrollment numbers and percentages. Among other findings in this 2013 report: New Orleans remains the largest market for charter schools. Communities in the American West and South saw significant growth in charter school enrollment. (National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, December 2013)...

Profiles of For-Profit and Nonprofit Education Management Organizations, 14th Edition 2011-2012 - The school year 2011-2012 saw continued growth for for-profit and nonprofit education management sectors, though the nonprofits' growth has been faster than their for-profit counterparts. Charter schools spurred the creation of new education management organizations (EMOs) and the growth of those already established. There are large differences across states;for instance Michigan stands out with 79% of its charter schools operated by for-profit EMOs. Print selectively - it's 250 pages. (Gary Miron and Charisse Gulosino, National Education Policy Center, November 2013) ...

School Choice and School Performance in the New York City Public Schools - Will the Past Be Prologue? - Much has happened to New York City public schools over the past decade: an explosion of charters, new regular public schools-many in poor neighborhoods, and passage to an all-choice system. Student outcomes improved sharply by graduation rate and on standardized state tests, due, say the authors, to choice. To further choice and competition, they recommend removing residential preferences as well as other unessential screening procedures, expanding and simplifying centralized application and admission, and taking more care to assure that economic, educational and residential advantages of students' parents aren't reflected in the quality of public school to which students are assigned. (Grover Whitehurst and Sarah Whifield, Brookings Institution, October 2013)...

School Choice - See the Institute for Education Sciences' What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) for recommendations on school choice. The WWC reviews the research on the different programs, products, practices, and policies in education. Then, by focusing on the results from high-quality research, they try to answer the question “What works in education?” The goal is to provide educators with the information they need to make evidence-based decisions. (WWC, September 2013)...

Why the Gap? Special Education and New York City Charter Schools - A national gap in enrollment rates of special education students persists between charter schools and public schools with charters lagging at about 3 percent. The author looked at a similar gap in New York City and found students with disabilities-especially those with autism or a speech or language impairment-are less likely to apply to charters in kindergarten. Surprisingly, the results do not suggest that charter schools are refusing to admit or are pushing out students with special needs. In fact, more students with previously identified disabilities enter charter schools than exit them as they progress through elementary grade levels. (Marcus A. Winters, Center on Reinventing Public Education, September 2013)...

Rocketship Education: Pioneering Charter Network Innovates Again, Bringing Tech Closer to Teachers - Rocketship Education is a network of seven public charter elementary schools, which is getting good results with low-income students. Eighty-two percent of its students scored proficient or advanced on California Standards Test for math, compared to an 87% average for the state's highest-income districts. They do it by expanding the reach of their strongest teachers, paying excellent teachers more, and integrating Public Impact’s principles of an Opportunity Culture into Rocketship’s Plans. Now, Rocketship is set to move into Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Memphis, Nashville, Washington D.C., and New Orleans. (Sharon Kebschull Barrett and Joe Ableidinger, Public Impact, September 2013)...

The State of Charter School Authorizing - 2012 - Using findings from a survey of authorizers, this report seeks to answer whether authorizers are growing in numbers, if authroizers are adopting practices that work, and how they are responding to the increasing demand for high quality public education options. (National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA), April 2013)...

In Service of Citizenship: YES Prep Public Schools and Civic Education - Described by the author as "one of the premier high-poverty/high achievement charter schools," the Houston-based YES (Youth Engaged in Service) Prep focuses on citizenship through service to the community. It is the service aspect which most distinguishes YES Prep from the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP), and the fact that YES Prep has only 10 grade 6-12 schools, all in Houston, while KIPP has 125 campuses in 20 states and the District of Columbia. Distinguishing YES Prep charters from public schools is a 100% high school graduation and college placement rate with credit going to hard-working college counselors, helpful deans and committed parents, among other aspects. (Robert Maranto, April 2013)...

The Decline in Private School Enrollment - Private school enrollment has been on the decline for a decade, with various reasons offered: the recession, homeschooling, the rise of charter schools. Stephanie Ewert of the U.S. Census Bureau has crunched a lot of numbers that shed light on the phenomenon. In The Decline in Private School Enrollments she indicates “recessions and periods of economic growth do not drive changes in private school enrollment.” While homeschooling is a difficult call, she says there is some evidence that the rise of charters has led to a decline in private school enrollment. (Stephanie Ewert, U.S. Census Bureau, January 2013)...

Charter Schools: Additional Federal Attention Needed to Help Protect Access for Students with Disabilities - While the number of charter schools is growing rapidly, questions have been raised about whether charter schools are appropriately serving students with disabilities. In this report, the Government Accountability Office examines: (1) How do enrollment levels of students with disabilities in charter schools and traditional public schools compare, and what is known about the factors that may contribute to any differences? (2) How do charter schools reach out to students with disabilities and what special education services do charter schools provide? (3) What role do Education, state educational agencies, and other entities that oversee charter schools play in ensuring students with disabilities have access to charter schools? (United States Government Accountability Office, June 2012)...

Charter Schools in SREB States: Critical Questions and Next Steps for States - This report from SREB examines policy questions surrounding the effectiveness of charter schools, their impact on traditional public schools, appropriate funding policies, and performance accountability. The authors provide recommendations to policymakers for maximizing the potential of charter schools. (SREB, May 2012) ...

Charter-School Management Organizations: Diverse Strategies and Diverse Student Impacts - This study examines the effect of non-profit charter-school management organizations (CMOs) on middle school academic achievement and rates of high school graduation and post-secondary enrollment within eight geographically-diverse states. The study reported that, on average, there were no statistically significant effects of attending a CMO-operated school on state assessments in math, reading, science, or social studies among middle school youth or impacts on high school graduation and college enrollment rates. The study reported substantial variation in both the magnitude and level of statistical significance of the impacts across the participating CMOs. (Mathematica Policy Research and University of Washington’s Center on Reinventing Public Education, 2012)...

Issue Brief: Beyond City Limits: Expanding Public Charter Schools in Rural America - This issue brief explores how public charter schools can meet the educational needs of rural communities. (National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, February 2012)...

New Orleans-Style Education Reform: A Guide for Cities: Lessons Learned, 2004-2010 - This report shares the insights and lessons learned in developing a choice-based, predominantly charter system in New Orleans. The report can aid districts struggling to remedy widespread school system failure by providing tools and resources to guide their initial thinking, early work, and longer-term planning. (New Schools for New Orleans, January 2012)...

Chartering Pre-K - This brief argues for the integration of community pre-k programs within charter schools as a way to improve outcomes. The brief also provides ideas on how to address challenges that exist between community-based pre-k providers and charter school authorizers and recommends that states provide more technical assistance to both constituencies. (Sara Mead, National Association of Charter School Authorizers, 2011)...

Charting a New Course to Retirement: How Charter Schools Handle Teacher Pensions - This document examines two questions: (1) When given the option, how many charter schools choose to participate in their regular state (or local) teacher pension plans and how many do not? (2) In the case of charter schools that do not participate in state plans, what--if anything--do they offer instead? (Amanda Olberg and Michael Podgursky, Thomas B. Fordham Institute, June 2011)...

How Do Charter Schools Get the Teachers They Want? - This brief draws upon a recent multi-year field study of charter schools in six cities in three states. It highlights the most promising recruitment and selection practices from these schools. (National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, March 2011)...

Taking Charge of Choice: How Charter School Policy Contexts Matter - Report explores the policy context surrounding the development of charter school law in Indiana by conducting in-depth discussions with key stakeholders as well as analyzing documents relating to the period of adoption. The report describes how diverse elements can come together to create a unique policy environment, focusing on issues of public collective action, trust between institutions and investment from entities outside the city government. (National Center on School Choice, January 2011)...

Paying for Scale: Results of a Symposium on CMO Finance - In April 2010, a group of researchers and financial analysts met to decide how to better understand the financing and sustainability of CMOs. The report that came out of the meeting offers this conclusion: While public policy plays an important role in the future of CMOs, they cannot wait for legislative solutions. CMOs need to find new ways to help schools operate more efficiently, save money, innovate with new technologies, and adapt to leaner times. (National Charter School Research Project, January 2011)...

Charter Schools and the Teacher Job Search - This research brief explores how prospective elementary school teachers decide whether to apply to a charter school when they begin looking for a job. Among the findings: (1) Few prospective teachers give equal consideration to charter schools and traditional public schools in the job search; (2) Social and institutional contexts influence teacher applicants' familiarity with and openness to working in charter schools; and (3) Teacher applicants who end up working in charter schools earn lower salaries and are less satisfied with their schools. That teachers hesitate to work in charter schools suggests these schools may face difficulties recruiting and retaining teachers beyond what might be expected given the students they serve. (Marisa Cannata, National Center on School Choice, July 2010)...

The Evaluation of Charter School Impacts: Final Report - This evaluation was conducted in 36 charter middle schools in 15 states. The study was limited to charter schools whose students were admissions lotteries. Key findings include: (1) On average, the schools that hold lotteries are neither more nor less successful than traditional public schools in improving student achievement, behavior and school progress; (2) Charter schools serving more low income or low achieving students had statistically significant positive effects on math test scores; and (3) Some operational features of charter middle schools are associated with more positive impacts on achievement. (IES, June 2010)...

Free to Lead: Autonomy in Highly Successful Charter Schools - This issue brief explores autonomy at five excellent charter schools across the county. When interviewed, all five school leaders identified ways autonomy has enhanced their ability, and the ability of their teachers, to achieve high levels of student performance. (Joe Ableidinger and Bryan Hassel, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, April 2010)...


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