This week, the Charter Blog will follow the National School Choice Week whistle stop tour—profiling public charter school facts along the tour route (see previous stops Kansas/Missouri and Chicago).
Today’s stops on the National School Choice Week (NSCW) whistle stop tour are South Bend, Indiana and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Indiana has one of the top 10 best public charter school laws (9th out of 43) according to our model law rankings. It also has a growing charter school market, with Gary tied for the fifth largest market share in the country, and Indianapolis tied for the eight largest market share. Additionally, Indiana charter schools are showing performance results. The findings of a recent CREDO report titled Charter Performance in Indiana show that “compared to the educational gains that charter students would have had in a traditional public school, the analysis shows that the typical charter school student in Indiana makes larger learning gains in both reading and mathematics.” This report is part of a decidedly upward trend in research on charter school performance.
The charter school picture in Wisconsin is a bit less sunny. Wisconsin’s charter law ranks 37th out of 43 according to our model law rankings and “needs a major overhaul in several areas.” Milwaukee is tied for the tenth largest national market share. A recent study examined whether the presence of charter schools in Milwaukee had an impact on student performance in traditional public schools and found that charter schools authorized by a non-school district entity appeared to positively impact student performance in traditional public schools.