Charter Meta-Analysis Report Overstates Conclusions
Review finds overall outcomes for charters and public schools are largely indistinguishable
EAST LANSING, Mich. (Sept. 30, 2014) – A recent report from the Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) attempted to examine whether charter schools have a positive effect on student achievement. The report reviewed 52 studies selected by the authors and found charters to be serving students well, particularly in math. An academic review out today finds the conclusions of the report to be overstated.
Francesca López, University of Arizona, reviewed A Meta-Analysis of the Literature on the Effect of Charter Schools on Student Achievement for the Think Twice think tank review project of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC), with funding from the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.
The CRPE report is an update of prior reports that examine the achievement of charter schools as compared to traditional public schools.
In her review, López says, "The report does a solid job describing the methodological limitations of the studies reviewed, then seemingly forgets those limits in the analysis."
Specifically, López finds fault with the authors' use of lottery-based studies, cautioning that inclusion limits the study's usefulness in broad comparisons of all charters vs. public schools.
Her review finds several problems that prevent it from being of use to policymakers:
López concludes her review with, "A more honest reading of the results would be that they are consistent with the large body of charter school studies: the overall outcomes for charters and public schools are largely indistinguishable."
Read the full review at:
Find A Meta-Analysis of the Literature on the Effect of Charter Schools on Student Achievement on the web:
Think Twice, a project of the National Education Policy Center, provides the public, policymakers and the press with timely, academically sound reviews of selected publications. The project is made possible by funding from the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.
The review can also be found on the NEPC website:
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The mission of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice is to support and disseminate high quality research and reviews of research for the purpose of informing education policy and to develop research-based resources for use by those who advocate for education reform.
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