CREDO report analyzed data from school years 2014-15 to 2018-19 and shows significant learning advantage for charter school students
Today, the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University released As a Matter of Fact: The National Charter School Study III 2023, the third iteration of a study that analyzes student performance data at charter schools and district public schools. This comprehensive overview shows that charter schools outperformed other public schools in both reading and math. The analysis is broken into two reports: one on charter school performance in 31 states and one on charter school networks in 26 states. Findings are based on year-to-year data during the school years 2014-2015 through 2018-2019.
Among a variety of crucial findings, the reports found that:
Based on year-to-year national academic progress from the 2014-15 school year to the 2018-19 school year, charter school students outpaced their traditional public school peers in both reading and math learning gains. On average, in a year, charter school students had 16 days of additional learning in reading and six additional days of learning in math.
Charter Management Organization (CMO) schools and Stand-Alone Charter Schools (SCS) outperformed traditional public schools in fostering learning in reading. Students attending CMO-affiliated charter schools gained 27 additional days of learning in reading and 23 more days in math over traditional public schools. Students attending SCS grew by more than 10 additional days in reading when compared to their traditional public school peers.
CREDO data suggests that charter schools are not “skimming” as often suggested, and says: “If true [skimming], the students in charter schools would show higher academic achievement at the point of enrollment. In multiple analyses, we do not see significant evidence of an undue advantage to charter schools. In fact, we find the opposite is true: charter schools enroll students who are disproportionately lower achieving than the students in their former TPS [traditional public schools].”
Positive results exist at all grade levels and charter schools serving elementary, middle, and high school students had statistically positive growth in both reading and math.
“These findings show the incredible impact of charter schools on the students they serve,” says Nina Rees, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. “CREDO’s diligent research provides a clear picture of how all types of public school students are faring today.”
Public charter schools are always public, free, and open to all, and have led to better academic results for historically underserved students.