School & District Management

Mich. Charter Schools Scoring Lower

By Darcia Harris Bowman — November 15, 2000 2 min read

Students in Michigan’s regular public schools are generally outperforming their charter school peers on state achievement tests of basic academic subjects, according to a study released this month.

Looking at the past five years of state testing data from 171 charter schools, researchers with Western Michigan University’s Evaluation Center found that students at those largely independent public schools trailed their regular public school peers in absolute passing rates in all four subjects covered by the exams: reading, writing, mathematics, and science. Charter schools also generally showed less improvement in test scores over time when compared with students in their host districts.

For More Information

“An Evaluation of the Michigan Charter School Initiative: Performance, Accountability, and Impact” is available online at www.wmich.edu/evalctr/char ter/michigan.

“We didn’t see charters gaining on host districts,” said Gary Miron, a co-author of the study. “Charter schools have diverse missions, but student achievement has to be part of that.”

The report, which is dated July 2000 but was not released until this month, is the second of two evaluations of charter schools commissioned last year by the Michigan Department of Education.

The first study, which examined 55 charter schools, was conducted by Public Sector Consultants Inc. and Maximus Inc., and released in February 1999. The authors reported similar findings on overall passing rates, but found the rate of improvement in test scores was greater for students at charter schools than at comparable public schools.

More Communication

In addition to examining student achievement, the new study found some evidence that charter schools (called “public academies” in Michigan) are forcing the state’s regular public schools to offer more services and better communicate with students and their families.

Dan Quisenberry, the president of the Michigan Association of Public School Academies in Lansing, expressed reservations about the authors’ research methods regarding student achievement.

“It doesn’t look like they went in and [broke down] the numbers,” he said. “Are we seeing changes in students just walking in the door [of a charter school] that differ from those who have been there for a while? Depending on what students we’re looking at, the impact of charter schools will be quite different.”

Mr. Miron agreed the state testing data had limitations, but said most charter schools refused to provide more detailed information.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the November 15, 2000 edition of Education Week as Mich. Charter Schools Scoring Lower

Events

School & District Management Live Event Education Week Leadership Symposium
Education Week's Premier Leadership Event for K12 School & District Leaders.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Law & Courts Webinar
The Future of Criminal Justice Reform: A Sphere Education Initiative Conversation
America’s criminal justice system is in crisis and calls for reform are dominating the national debate. Join Cato’s Sphere Education Initiative and Education Week for a webinar on criminal justice and policing featuring the nation’s
Content provided by Cato Institute
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Equity, Care and Connection: New SEL Tools and Practices to Support Students and Adults
As school districts plan to welcome students back into buildings for the upcoming school year, this is the perfect time to take a hard look at both our practices and our systems to build a
Content provided by Panorama Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Has COVID-19 Led to a Mass Exodus of Superintendents?
This year has been exhausting for superintendents. Some experts say they're seeing an unusually high number of resignations this spring.
5 min read
Chicago Public Schools Superintendent Janice K. Jackson, right, speaks on Feb. 11, 2021, during a news conference at the William H. Brown Elementary School in Chicago. In-person learning for students in pre-k and cluster programs began Thursday, since the district's agreement with the Chicago Teachers Union was reached.
Chicago Public Schools Superintendent Janice K. Jackson, right, announced earlier this week that she would depart the school system. Jackson, who assumed the superintendency in 2018, has worked for more than 20 years in CPS.
Shafkat Anowar
School & District Management Most Schools Offer at Least Some In-Person Classes, According to Feds' Latest Count
A majority of 4th and 8th graders had at least some in-person schooling by March, but inequities persisted.
3 min read
Image shows empty desks in a classroom.
Chris Ryan/OJO Images
School & District Management Opinion Education Researchers Should Think More About Educators: Notes From AERA
Steve Rees, founder of School Wise Press, posits AERA reflects a community of researchers too focused on what they find interesting.
4 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School & District Management What the Research Says High Costs, Outdated Infrastructure Hinder Districts' Air-Quality Efforts
A national survey finds the pandemic has led districts to update schools' ventilation systems, but their options are limited.
3 min read
Mayor Bill de Blasio, center, checks the movement of a window inside a classroom at Bronx Collaborative High School, during a visit to review health safeguards in advance of schools reopening on Aug. 26, 2020, in New York.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, center, checks the movement of a window inside a classroom at Bronx Collaborative High School, during a visit to review health safeguards in advance of schools reopening earlier this school year.
Bebeto Matthews/AP