Resources & Research

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The Evaluation of Charter School Impacts

The National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Mathematics Policy Research, and Institute of Education Sciences offer this performance review of 36 charter middle schools using a rigorous large-scale randomized trial based on entrance lotteries. The team found that students and parents of students that attended charter schools were more satisfied by their schools than traditional public schools. However, the somewhat limited sample of schools did not yield any evidence suggesting charter schools out- or under-performed their peer institutions.

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Equity in Access to Charter Schools

In this research synthesis, the National Charter School Resource Center examines enrollment trends in charter schools and related equity issues. The research indicates where patterns of normal and hyper (or extreme) segregation exist and where the data are inconsistent to support such claims. The conclusion identifies areas for future policy research or action to address equity challenges.

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Student Achievement in Charter Schools

This brief from the National Charter School Resource Center, published in September 2010, provides guidance for practitioners and policymakers in navigating the body of recent research on student achievement in charter schools. The brief includes an accessible overview of rigorous charter school research published during the past five years and sources for additional information and summarizes research concepts that are imperative to an informed interpretation of the research findings.

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Inside Charter Schools: Unlocking Doors to Student Success

This February 2011 report from the Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) at the University of Washington Bothell in Seattle finds that charter schools are using autonomy as a powerful tool for innovation and student achievement, but tight, unstable budgets and “overwhelming administrative demands are powerful forces pulling charter schools back to traditional practice.”

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Exploring Success in the Charter Sector

This 2008 report presents findings from exploratory case studies of six charter schools identified due to their reported success educating children with disabilities. The case studies were exploratory in nature, documenting what charter schools are offering children with disabilities. Selected schools were perceived to be innovative or particularly successful with children with disabilities.

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Research Brief: Charter Schools and Civic Leadership in Indianapolis

A September 2010 research brief from the National Center on School Choice states that gains in student learning in Indianapolis charter schools are at least in part the result of the high levels of independence and civic support that charters receive in the city. 

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National Charter School Resource Center: 2009-10 Year in Review

Produced by the National Charter School Research Center, this publication provides an overview of research, news, and developments in the charter school sector in 2009-10.

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The National Study of Charter Management Organization (CMO) Effectiveness: Report on Interim Findings

The first major study of the nation’s 82 charter management organizations (CMOs) suggests wide variability between organizations, as well as significant organizational and financial challenges.

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NAPCS Dashboard Updated for 2010-2011

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools has updated its online dashboard with information about the 5,275 charter schools nationwide for the 2010-11 school year.

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Student Characteristics and Achievement in 22 KIPP Middle Schools

This June 2010 report prepared by Mathematica Policy Research for the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) charter school network found significant gains in math among KIPP middle school students. It also found that students at KIPP middle schools were more likely to be living in poverty, more likely to be black or Hispanic, and had lower elementary school test scores, on average, than their counterparts at nearby schools.