Resources & Research

Presentation |

Connecting Research to Practice: The Effects of Charter Schools—A Forum on Research, Practice, and Authorizing Policy

REL Midwest hosted this December 2011 webinar for policymakers, practitioners, and stakeholders across all seven REL Midwest states to increase their understanding of the research on charter school effectiveness and authorizing policies in the region. Dr. Mark Berends of the National Center on School Choice provided an overview of findings from rigorous research evaluating charter school effectiveness and identified specific evidence-based practices associated with high-performing charter schools.

Sample |

Chicago Charter-District School Collaboration Compact

This is the Chicago, Illinois, Charter-District Collaboration Compact announced in December 2011 as part of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation project to encourage cooperation between charter and district schools. The compact covers charter, district, and shared commitments; descriptions of current and proposed approaches to funding and facilities allocation; leadership development; and performance standards.

Article |

Nurturing School Minds

Mary Ann Zehr wrote this 2009 profile about a charter management organization, the United Neighborhood Organization (UNO). UNO maintains strict discipline for student conduct and behavior and uses a structured English immersion approach for their mostly Latino students.

Article |

Charter Schools Gain Broad Support Nationally; Laws Evolve in Illinois and Wisconsin

This feature article from the Great Lakes West Comprehensive Center's October 2011 E-Newsletter offers a review of the charter school landscape in Wisconsin and Illinois, as well as in its national context.

Toolkit |

Paving a New Path: A Guidebook for Illinois Charter Public School Development

For those seeking to open a new charter school, the Illinois Network of Charter Schools developed this most recent version of their handbook on developing a charter school.

Article |

Article About North Chicago School District 187 Request for Charter School Proposals, Potential Use of Naval Station Great Lakes Facility

This October 17, 2011 article from the Lake County News-Sun provides information about North Chicago School District 187’s request for proposals to start a charter school and notes negotiations to locate the school in a facility at the Naval Station Great Lakes military base. The school district has posted its request for proposals on its website.

Report |

The Approval Barrier to Suburban Charter Schools

This 2002 report from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute focuses on conditions in four states that have influenced the development of charter schools in suburban communities. The context for charter schools in suburban Colorado, New Jersey, and Connecticut is described and then compared to conditions in Illinois. The report by Pushpam Jain of the University of Maine covers the role of laws, parents, state agency support, and the impact of issues such as desegregation.

Book |

Charter Schools in Eight States: Effects on Achievement, Attainment, Integration, and Competition

This study, conducted by RAND researchers, used student-level data to compare public charter schools in Chicago, San Diego, Philadelphia, Denver, Milwaukee, and the states of Ohio, Texas, and Florida, with traditional public schools.

Report |

Implementing the Common Core State Standards: A Summary of the Work of Seven Districts (Note: Includes Charter Group)

This June 2011 report from the American Institutes for Research gauges the extent of Common Core State Standards implementation work in seven school districts across the country, including a charter school group in Arizona. The categories of information include curriculum and instruction, instructional leadership, professional development, and assessments.

Report |

Achievement and Attainment in Chicago Public Schools

This RAND report looks specifically at Chicago Charter Schools and compares their impacts on student achievement relative to traditional Chicago public high schools.