School Choice & Charters

Charter School Graduates More Likely to Stay in College, Earn Higher Salaries

By Arianna Prothero — April 06, 2016 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Charter school graduates in Florida were more likely stay in college and earn higher salaries than their district school peers.

That’s even though attending charter schools did not have a significant impact on student’s test scores, according to a study published in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

This study is significant, argue its authors, because research on charter schools has been largely focused on short-term effects, such as test scores, versus long-term—and arguably more important—outcomes such as getting college degrees and earning more money.

Researchers from Georgia State University, Vanderbilt University, and Mathematica Policy Research found that charter school graduates were 12 percent more likely to persist through their second year in college and, by the time they were in their mid-twenties, earned 12 percent more than their district school counterparts. Even when controlling for college enrollment, charter school graduates were six percent more likely to persist in college.

The study, funded by the Joyce Foundation, also confirmed earlier findings from the Mathematica folks that charter school students are more likely to graduate from high school and enroll in college.

(The Joyce Foundation provides grant support for Education Week‘s coverage of policy efforts to improve the teaching profession.)

Using data from the Florida Department of Education on student test scores, demographics, and college enrollment, as well as employment data from the Florida Education and Training Placement Information Program, the study’s primary analysis compared students that attended charter schools throughout high school to those that switched from a charter middle school to a district high school.

Although the researchers ran several analyses to try to control for things like selection bias, they admit there are limitations to their methodology and that the findings can’t necessarily be applied to charter school students in other states. But, they write: “Nonetheless, this early evidence of positive effects for these students on educational attainment and earnings in adulthood raises the question of whether charter schools’ full long-term impacts on their students have been underestimated by studies that examine only test scores.”

Related stories:


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
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Evaluating Equity to Drive District-Wide Action this School Year
Educational leaders are charged with ensuring all students receive equitable access to a high-quality education. Yet equity is more than an action. It is a lens through which we continuously review instructional practices and student
Content provided by BetterLesson
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
Attendance Awareness Month: The Research Behind Effective Interventions
More than a year has passed since American schools were abruptly closed to halt the spread of COVID-19. Many children have been out of regular school for most, or even all, of that time. Some
Content provided by AllHere

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