School Choice & Charters

Center for Ed. Reform Takes Aim at CREDO Study

By Katie Ash — February 08, 2013 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The Center for Education Reform has released a statement criticizing a recent study by a Stanford University research center about the growth and replication of charter schools, calling the report “highly misleading.”

The Stanford study, released by the university’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes, found that charter schools’ academic success or failure during their first year of operation is a strong indicator of how they will perform in subsequent years.

But the Center for Education Reform, a Washington organization that advocates for charters and school choice, contends that the study did not account for the differences in states’ charter laws when evaluating the performance of charters in 23 states and the District of Columbia.

The organization argues that the study’s findings are skewed by not taking into account variations in charter school laws which govern such factors as who can authorize new charters, how much flexibility from rules and regulations charter schools receive compared to traditional public schools, and how much funding students in charter schools receive. In addition, the Center for Education Reform says the CREDO study did not account for the different ways that states assess student performance.

Margaret Raymond, the director of CREDO and a co-author of the study, said in an interview that while the question of how state charter school policies affect schools’ performance is worth looking into, the study was focused on a different set of questions.

Stanford researchers drew their conclusions after tracking student-level performance in schools from the time they opened through their fifth year, mapping their academic progress against a “static set of performance thresholds” to illuminate academic trends. The analysis of the charter-management organizations evaluated in the CREDO study was based on a “virtual control record” method, which compares charter school students’ performance to “virtual twins” who attend regular public schools that the charter students would have otherwise attended. Consequently, said Raymond, the charter school student is compared with a student in the same state under the same policy environment, making differences in state charter laws a moot point.

The Center for Education Reform’s critique ignores “what the study was and what it intended to do,” she said.

The Center for Education Reform also criticized the use of free-and-reduced-price lunch as a measure of poverty in charter schools in the CREDO study, saying that definition is flawed, but Raymond said for broad, large-scale studies, that is a common data point for measuring the poverty level of students in schools.

“Advocates have particular things they want to see happen, and there’s a very strong role for advocacy, but that’s not the role that we’re trying to play,” she said of the Center for Education Reform’s objections to the study. “We try to be highly structured in the way we do our work and non-advocative when we look at the results. If it’s possible to ride the middle line of neutrality that’s what we try to do.”

The Center for Education Reform has been critical of studies produced by CREDO in the past, devoting a page on their website to tracking what they perceive as flaws in the studies.

Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the Charters & Choice blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

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
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
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
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
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
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

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 Choice & Charters Virtual Charters in Hot Water Again. Accusations of Fraud Prompt $150M Lawsuit
Indiana officials seek to recoup more than $150 million they say was either wrongly obtained or misspent by a consortium of virtual schools.
Arika Herron, The Indianapolis Star
2 min read
Indiana's attorney general Todd Rokita speaks at a news conference on Sept. 16, 2020, in Indianapolis. Rokita filed a lawsuit against a group of online charter schools accused of defrauding the state out of millions of dollars Thursday, July 8, 2021.
Indiana's attorney general Todd Rokita speaks at a news conference on Sept. 16, 2020, in Indianapolis.
Darron Cummings/AP
School Choice & Charters How the Pandemic Helped Fuel the Private School Choice Movement
State lawmakers got a new talking point as they pushed to create and expand programs to send students to private schools.
8 min read
Collage showing two boys in classroom during pandemic wearing masks with cropped photo of feet and arrows going in different directions.
Collage by Gina Tomko/EducationWeek (Images: Getty)
School Choice & Charters Opinion Taking Stock After 30 Years of Charter Schools
Rick Hess speaks with Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, on charter schools turning 30.
8 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School Choice & Charters In Fight Over Millions of Dollars for Charter Schools, a Marijuana Tax May Bring Peace
The Oklahoma State Board of Education voted unanimously to rescind a polarizing lawsuit settlement, pending certain stipulations.
Nuria Martinez-Keel, The Oklahoman
3 min read
Money bills cash funds close up Getty
Getty