Charter-School Management Organizations: Diverse Strategies and Diverse Student Impacts
Two months ago, Mathematica and the Center on Reinventing Public Education offered preliminary findings from their four-year study on charter-management organizations. The upshot: When it comes to student achievement, CMO performance varies widely. Two weeks ago, analysts put out a revised and extended version of their interim report, adding analyses on graduation and postsecondary enrollment rates (and school-level, as opposed to CMO-level, middle school impacts). The results are again mixed. Data were much scarcer for these graduation and post-secondary enrollment components (in part because fewer CMOs run high schools): Six CMOs had sufficient data to investigate their graduation rates and four had sufficient data to investigate post-secondary enrollment. Of these, two had significantly positive effects when compared to similar district schools, raising both graduation and postsecondary enrollment rates by about 20 percent. And one CMO had a significant negative impact (22 percent) on graduation rates. Meager data aside, one frustrating thread continues through each of these published preliminary reports: Which CMOs raise college enrollment rates by 20 percent? And which lowers graduation rates by that same amount? Mathematica and CRPE never say. The project’s culminating report is due out in March. We wait with bated breath for the authors to name names.
Melissa Bowen, et al., Charter-School Management Organizations: Diverse Strategies and Diverse Student Impacts (Princeton, NJ: Mathematica Policy Research; Seattle, WA: Center on Reinventing Public Education, 2012).
Category: Charters & Choice
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