Urban Charter School Study Report on 41 Regions 2015

Center for Research on Education Outcomes
20 Mar, 2015

This report presents an investigation conducted by CREDO over the past two years. We examined charter school performance in urban areas, driven by our ongoing effort to identify successful models for educating America’s students, particularly students of color and students living in poverty.

We sought to determine whether urban charter schools have different performance than other schools in their communities. In addition, we asked if urban charter schools present results that differ from the charter school landscape as a whole, as estimated in the 2013 National Charter School Study. Finally, if differences were identified in urban charter schools, could we provide any insight into which elements of the urban charter sectors might correlate with differences in results?

Using student level data obtained via data sharing agreements with our state education agency partners, we studied 41 urban areas in 22 states covering the school years 2006-07 through 2011-12. The outcome of interest was the academic advancement in one year’s time of a typical student in a charter school compared to the same measure for a virtual peer from local traditional public schools in the same location as the charter school.