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National Center on School Choice
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Effects of Student Transfers on Achievement: A Longitudinal Analysis
PIs: Dale Ballou, Mark Berends, Vanderbilt University; John Cronin, Northwest Evaluation Association

Using longitudinal data, this study considers school choice patterns by focusing on three primary areas: the achievement gains of charter school and regular public school students; the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) provision (http://www.ed.gov/nclb/landing.jhtml) allowing students to move from consistently low-performing to higher performing schools; and the relationship between charter school legislation and student achievement. 

Results on the relationship of charter school legislation to student achievement indicate that the strength of charter school law has either a negative or no significant relationship to achievement. The research on school choice policy under NCLB finds that students moving from low-performing to high-performing schools in the same district do not benefit from the move, compared with similar students who remain in the low-performing schools. Regarding student achievement and charter school effectiveness, this project reveals that conclusions depend on the statistical methods used to conduct the analysis. The method that appears to be most popular with many researchers suggests that charter schools in this state out-perform regular public schools; however, these findings are suspect, given the evidence that students moving between charter and regular public schools differ systematically from those who stay in the charter sector throughout the 3-year sample period. Thus, charter schools in this state may not be more effective than regular public schools, and may in fact be somewhat worse.

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

Charter School Outcomes in Idaho (2008)
Dale Ballou, Bettie Teasley, and Tim Zeidner

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

Responses to No Child Left Behind Among Traditional Public Schools and Public Charter Schools (2007)
Dale Ballou and Matthew G. Springer

An Examination of the Legal Environment, Educational Innovation and Student Achievement (2007)
Caroline Watral and Bettie Teasley

Differences that Make a Difference: An Examination of the Relationship between Charter Law “Strength” and Student Achievement (2007)
Caroline Watral

Accountability Incentives: Do Schools Practice Educational Triage? (2007)
Matthew G. Springer

An Empirical Investigation of the No Child Left Behind School Choice Policy and Academic Achievement in a Western State (2007)
Anna Nicotera, Bettie Teasley, and Mark Berends

Switching Schools? A Closer Look at Parents' Initial Interest in and Knowledge about the Choice Provisions of No Child Left Behind (2006)
William G. Howell‌

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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