by David Safier
A new study shows a slight but measurable improvement in achievement of students in charter schools over students in traditional public schools. It comes from the same Stanford research group that did a similar study in 2009 which had more mixed results. Since I cited the original study, it makes sense I should cite this one as well.
I haven't had time to look over the study, so I'm depending on the AP story in the Star. It sounds like the difference isn't great. Charter school students had scores that were the equivalent of an extra 8 days in school in reading, and the math scores were about equal. That means that the variation in achievement from school to school, charter or traditional public, is far greater than the difference between the two types of schools. For any charter school supporters who want to shout triumphantly, "See, charters are better!" take a breath. We're still in a more-or-less-equal status, which is where we were in the 2009 study. Now it's tilted slightly in charters' favor.