• Differences that Make a Difference: An Examination of the Relationship between Charter Law “Strength” and Student Achievement
    Year: 2007

  • Abstract:
    This study explores the effect of autonomy and flexibility (which are functionally similar to the “strength” of the charter law) on student performance. Not only are there shared ideals behind school choice reforms and No Child Left Behind (NCLB), but school choice has been expanded through the NCLB Act. NCLB allows low-income students--who may generally not be afforded a choice—the option to transfer to other schools in their district if their local schools fail to make Adequate Yearly Progress. Also, under NCLB failing schools may be converted to charter schools. This paper is still germane to the reader interested in NCLB since it will examine some of the shared valuations between NCLB and charter reform. This study seeks to bridge the gap between research and practice by examining the relationship between specific elements of charter school legislation and student achievement. Are differences in academic achievement in part due to differences in state law?

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.