Evaluating the Performance of Charter Schools in Connecticut
Gary Miron, The Evaluation Center at Western Michigan University
Gary Miron is an assiduous, technically competent, and generally objective evaluator of charter school performance. At the request of the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now, he and his center evaluated the performance of that state's charter schools as of 2003-4. (Ten of fourteen operating schools were included in this analysis.) The results are generally positive in grades 4, 6, and 8: "In three of the four cohorts, the charter schools made much larger gains than their comparison groups." The two charter high schools in the batch, however, were "mixed to negative." Besides state tests, Miron looked at how many of the schools' own goals were being attained. Of the 179 objectives they had set, "nearly 44 percent . . . were fully met, another 27 percent were mostly met, and 8 percent were partially met. Twenty-one percent of the objectives were deemed in this study to have not been met, in many cases because the schools did not provide sufficient evidence." Connecticut has a very small and heavily regulated charter movement. (See http://www.edexcellence.net/doc/IndividualStateReports_All.pdf and turn to page 36.) It would appear from this latest appraisal, however, that its schools are doing pretty well. Surf to http://www.wmich.edu/evalctr/charter/ct_cs_eval_executive_summary.pdf for the report.