A high-profile school turnaround effort in Philadelphia that turned some low-performing schools over to charter operators and brought others into direct control of the central office has yielded better test scores and higher attendance in most of those schools, according to first-year results from aby Research for Action, a nonprofit research organization in the city.
The initiative—which included seven Renaissance Schools run by charter operators and six district-run Promise Academies—was a signature effort of former Philadelphia Superintendent Arlene Ackerman.
In the 13 participating schools, the percentage of students scoring “proficient” or above, on average, on state math tests increased from 30 percent in the 2009-10 school year to 44 percent in 2010-11. In reading, that percentage grew from 24 percent in 2009-10 to 32 percent a year later. Results were not statistically different between the two program models, the report says.
A version of this article appeared in the February 29, 2012 edition of Education Week as District Reforms