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ERIC Number: ED501834
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 52
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 18
Achievement and Attainment in Chicago Charter Schools. Technical Report
Booker, Kevin; Gill, Brian; Zimmer, Ron; Sass, Tim R.
RAND Corporation
Over the past decade, charter schools have been among the fastest-growing segments of the K-12 education sector in Chicago and across the country. In this report, the authors examine the following issues related to charter schools (1) Are charter schools attracting high- or low-achieving students and do transfers affect the racial mix in the city's public schools: (2) Are charter schools producing achievement gains for the students who attend them, relative to district-run schools in CPS, as measured by state test scores? And (3) Are Chicago's charter high schools (HSs) increasing their students' likelihood of graduating, their scores on the ACT[R] college-admission exam, and their probability of enrolling in college relative to district-run CPS schools? Information provided uses student-level data provided by Chicago Public Schools (CPS). Major findings reported include: (1) On average, the prior achievement levels of students transferring to charter schools differ only slightly from the citywide average and from the achievement levels of peers in the district-managed CPS schools they exited; (2) Transfers from traditional public schools to charter schools in Chicago do not increase racial stratification across the schools; (3) Consistent with similar studies in other locations, only small differences in average achievement gains were found between charter schools and CPS schools, and these differences do not point in consistent directions (the only strong finding regarding achievement is that charter schools do not do well in raising student achievement in their first year of operation); (4) Evidence was found that Chicago's charter HSs may produce positive effects on ACT scores, the probability of graduating, and the probability of enrolling in college, but these positive effects are solidly evident only in the charter HSs that also included middle school grades. Further research is recommended before it can be definitively stated that charter HSs produce positive effects in conventional 9-12 grade configurations, and conversely, whether district-run schools can produce positive effects by incorporating middle school and perhaps elementary grades. Supporting data is appended. (Contains 14 tables.) [Additional support for this report was provided by the Stranahan Foundation. For related Research Brief, see ED501763. This report has been superseded by ED504521.]
RAND Corporation. P.O. Box 2138, Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138. Tel: 877-584-8642; Tel: 310-451-7002; Fax: 412-802-4981; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Joyce Foundation; Smith Richardson Foundation; William Penn Foundation
Authoring Institution: RAND Education; Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.; Florida State University
Identifiers - Location: Illinois