Are Charter Schools Really Performing Better?

A study from the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University suggests that charter schools, on the whole, are performing a little better than they did four years ago, as measured by students' standardized test results.

The National Charter School Study 2013 (full PDF; executive summary) is a follow-up to a similar 2009 CREDO study in 16 states. This new report covers charter schools in 25 states, along with the District of Columbia and New York City, which in total educate "over 95 percent" of all U.S. charter students.

"The average charter school now gains an additional 8 days of learning each year in reading, compared to the loss of 7 days each year reported in 2009. In math, charter students in 2009 posted 22 fewer days of learning; now that gap is closed to their learning each year is on par with their peers in traditional public schools."

But not so fast. The D.C.-based nonprofit, Center of Education Reform, chastised the study, saying that it's "misguided attempt to make comparisons of student success across state lines ignores the reality behind the widely varying state assessments that make such alignment impossible."

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