School Choice & Charters

Indiana’s Charter School Students Outpace Peers

By Katie Ash — December 18, 2012 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

A new report from Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes found that students in Indiana charter schools outperformed their traditional public school peers in both math and reading. The study also found that students in charter schools in Indianapolis had even greater gains than the overall charter school population in the state.

The study tracked 15,297 charter school students at 64 schools from grades 3-8. On average, students in charter schools ended the year having made the equivalent of 1.5 more months of learning gains in both reading and math than their traditional public school counterparts did. Students in charter schools in Indianapolis ended the year ahead of their traditional public school counterparts by two months in reading and three months in math.

The study paired up charter school students with a control group of traditional public schools students by matching demographic and performance data (gender, race/ethnicity, special education status, English language proficiency, free-or-reduced lunch participation, grade level, and prior test scores on state achievement tests) to track growth.

The research center published similar findings last month focused on charter schools’ students in New Jersey. The analysis found that charter school students in that state gained an average of three additional months of learning per year in math and two extra months of learning in reading compared to their traditional public school counterparts. Since 2009, CREDO has published a number of reports analyzing charter school performance in 20 states and Washington D.C.

The Indiana report breaks down the findings across many variables including school level, school location, growth period, grade level, race, and charter management organization affiliation, among others. It found that black students, who constitute a higher portion of the charter school population (58 percent) than they do the traditional public school school population (11 percent), performed worse than their white student counterparts in both traditional public schools and charter schools. However, black students in charter schools performed better in both reading and math than black students in traditional public schools, overall.

Special education students, who are slightly underrepresented in Indiana’s charter schools (11 percent compared to 15 percent in the traditional public school population) performed worse than non-special education students in both traditional public schools as well as charter schools in the state. There was no statistically significant difference in reading or math between special education students in traditional public vs. charter schools in the state.

In each year of the six-year study, charter school students outperformed their traditional public school counterparts during that year except for the latest year for which statistics are available, 2011. In that year, students performed just as well as their public school peers in reading and slightly worse in math.

The report’s researchers attribute this dip in achievement to charter schools that opened in 2008-09 and later, the bulk of which were authorized by Ball State University, according to the report. In fact, the charters authorized by Ball State University lagged behind those authorized by the Indianapolis Mayor’s Office and the Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corporation.

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
What’s Next for Teaching and Learning? Key Trends for the New School Year
The past 18 months changed the face of education forever, leaving teachers, students, and families to adapt to unprecedented challenges in teaching and learning. As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and
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