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Effects of Charter Schools in a Midwestern City
PIs: Mark Berends, Ellen Goldring, Vanderbilt University; Ruth Green, Center for Evaluation and Education Policy

In this study, researchers are examining charter schools in a large Midwestern city. Specifically, they are looking at the policy context of charter school reform; at student attitudes, learning, and behavior; and at parent involvement, preferences, and satisfaction in these schools. Using a variety of quasi-experimental methods, they are conducting longitudinal analyses of student achievement to estimate effects of charters vis-à-vis traditional public schools.  Important to the project are Porter’s (2002) Surveys of the Enacted Curriculum (www.seconline.org), which not only shed light on achievement effects of schools and classrooms, but also provide valuable feedback to the schools participating in the study.  Data collection and analysis are ongoing.

Where policy is concerned, results reveal that the charter school movement is facing the pressures of shifting leadership coalitions, financial burdens, and performance demands. In terms of student attitudes, learning, and behavior, preliminary analyses reveal a great deal of variation between charter schools in measures of social capital. Students who report higher levels of social capital also report more rigorous academic climates and greater engagement in school. Parent involvement also varies widely across charter schools; in general, parents report that more invitations to be involved come from the school than from the teachers in the school.

Find the article, book or working paper by clicking on the publication name below.

Charter School Effects on Achievement: Where We Are and Where We’re Going (2008)
Mark Berends, Caroline Watral, Bettie Teasley, and Anna Nicotera
Charter Outcomes

How Social Capital Varies Among Charter Schools:  Examining Relationships to Academic Rigor and Engagement from Students’ Perspectives (2008)
Mark Berends, Christine Mokher, Ellen Goldring and Genevieve Zottola

Charter School Effects in an Urban School District:  An Analysis of Student Achievement Growth (2008)
Mark Berends, Maria Mendiburo, and Anna Nicotera

Differences between Charter Schools and Traditional Public Schools in Instructional Practices and Curricular Alignment to Standards and Tests (2008)
Mark Berends, Marc Stein, and John Smithson

Student Achievement Growth and Parents’ Perceptions of Invitation for Involvement in Urban Charter Schools (2008)
Marc Stein, Ellen Goldring, and Genevieve Zottola

The Charter School Regime in an Urban District: Mayoral Control & the Shifting Political Milieu (2008)
Claire Smrekar and Genevieve Zottola


Vanderbilt University
  The NCSC is funded by a 5 year, $13.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences. Its lead institution is Vanderbilt University in   Nashville, Tennessee. The center is housed on the campus of Peabody College, one of the nation's top graduate schools of education.
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