Connecting with the Facts on Charter Schools

Posted on June 16, 2005
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The Arizona Republic reported this week that charter schools are a failed reform according to an ASU study, Charter Schools' Performance and Accountability: A Disconnect.

The real disconnect, however, is that the ASU study provides no recent evidence that Arizona charter schools are failing. On the contrary, the ASU study relies on an outdated, 1999 ASU Morrison Institute report that actually found the state's "charter schools are not performing very differently from other public schools."

Since then, a majority of research shows charter school students outperforming their peers in traditional public school, including a 2005 meta-analysis of 38 studies - all published since 2000. Among that research is a 2004 Goldwater Institute study that found students in Arizona charter schools typically begin with lower test scores but show overall annual achievement growth roughly three points higher than traditional students. Charter students who complete the 12th grade surpass their public school peers on SAT-9 Reading tests.

These results square with findings from such leading research organizations as the Brookings Institution, the Progressive Policy Institute, and Harvard University. It's time ASU get connected.

Key Links:
- Arizona Republic: "Charter schools failing on reform goals, ASU study concludes"

-ASU study: Charter Schools' Performance and Accountability: A Disconnect

-2005 Meta-analysis: Charter School Achievement: What We Know

-Goldwater Institute study: Comparison of Traditional Public Schools and Charter Schools on Retention, School Switching, and Achievement Growth

-Harvard University: Achievement in Charter Schools and Regular Public Schools in the US: Understanding the Differences

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