UMich Researchers Find More Charter School Gains

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

Of a piece with most of the research done so far, a team of researchers from the University of Michigan looked at a large chain of charter schools–the National Heritage Academy–and found test score gains among the students who attend them. “NHA is the fourth largest forprofit charter operator in the country, enrolling more than 56,000 students in 86 schools across 9 states,” Susan Dynarski, Daniel Hubbard, Brian Jacob and Sylvia Robles state in the synopsis of a paper they completed for the National Bureau of Economic Research. “Unlike several of the other large for-profit companies that operate virtual charters, NHA only has standard bricks-and-mortar schools.”

“Our estimates indicate that attending a NHA charter school for one additional year is associated with a 0.04 standard deviation increase in math achievement. Effects on other outcomes are smaller and not statistically significant. In contrast to most prior charter school research which find the largest benefits for low-income, underrepresented minorities in urban areas, the benefits of attending an NHA charter network are concentrated among non-poor students attending charter schools outside urban areas.”