Urban Charters Outstrip Performance of Nonurban, Study Finds
A new Massachusetts study suggests that charter schools located in urban communities there significantly improved their students’ mathematics and language arts performance on state assessments, while nonurban charter schools did not, and, in some cases, even appeared to hurt students academically.
The findings come in a working paper by researchers with the Cambridge, Mass.-based National Bureau of Economic Research. In the paper, released Aug. 22, the researchers trace the greater student academic growth in urban charter schools to the “no excuses” instructional approaches typical of urban charters in that state.
The study comes as a growing number of charters begin to move beyond city centers to compete in often better-performing school districts in suburbs and rural areas. According to the Washington-based National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, charters have been spreading in suburban and rural areas: From 1999-2000 to 2009-10, the number of suburban charters grew from 366 to 1,039, while the ranks of town and rural charters rose from 342 to 1,190. City charters grew from 833 to 2,692...
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