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ERIC Number: ED528536
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jan
Pages: 210
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 33
Charter-School Management Organizations: Diverse Strategies and Diverse Student Impacts. Updated Edition
Furgeson, Joshua; Gill, Brian; Haimson, Joshua; Killewald, Alexandra; McCullough, Moira; Nichols-Barrer, Ira; Verbitsky-Savitz, Natalya; Teh, Bing-ru; Bowen, Melissa; Demeritt, Allison; Hill, Paul; Lake, Robin
Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
Charter schools--public schools of choice that are operated autonomously, outside the direct control of local school districts--have become more prevalent over the past two decades. There is no consensus about whether, on average, charter schools are doing better or worse than conventional public schools at promoting the achievement of their students. Nonetheless, one research finding is clear: Effects vary widely among different charter schools. Many educators, policymakers, and funders are interested in ways to identify and replicate successful charter schools and help other public schools adopt effective charter school practices. Charter-school management organizations (CMOs), which establish and operate multiple charter schools, represent one prominent attempt to bring high performance to scale. The National Study of CMO Effectiveness aims to fill the gap in systematic evidence about CMOs, providing the first rigorous nationwide examination of CMOs' effects on students' achievement and attainment. The study includes an examination of the relationships between the practices of individual CMOs and their effects on student achievement, with the aim of providing useful guidance to the field. This updated edition of the report provides key findings from the study on CMO practices, impacts, and the relationships between them. A forthcoming report will explore promising practices in greater depth. This study uses multiple data sources to describe CMOs, assess their impacts on students, and identify practices associated with positive impacts in order to address the following research questions: (1) How quickly are CMOs growing? Which students and areas do they serve and what resources do they use? What are the practices and structures of CMOs? What state policies and other factors appear to influence the location and growth of CMOs?; (2) What are the impacts of CMOs on student outcomes and to what extent do these impacts vary across CMOs?; and (3) Which CMO practices and structures are positively associated with impacts? To examine eligible CMOs and address the research questions, the authors conducted a survey of CMO central office staff, surveys of CMO principals and principals in nearby conventional public schools, a survey of CMO teachers, and site visits to 10 CMOs and 20 schools. In addition, they collected and analyzed school records with data on student characteristics and outcomes (including test scores), and they examined CMO financial records and business plans. Findings include: (1) Comprehensive behavior policies are positively associated with student impacts; (2) Intensive teacher coaching is positively associated with student impacts; (3) CMOs using TFA and teaching fellow teachers have higher impacts, but other staffing decisions are not associated with impacts; (4) CMOs categorized as "data-driven" and "time on task" have larger impacts, on average, than two other categories of CMOs; and (5) Tightness of CMO management is weakly associated with impacts. As is often the case in studies of this kind, some of the interesting findings raise other important questions. The following questions are discussed in this report: (1) To what extent do CMOs produce positive effects on longer term student outcomes?; (2) What explains why some CMOs have negative impacts on test scores?; (3) Which promising strategies should CMOs implement and how should they implement them?; (5) To what extent do CMOs add value compared to independent charter schools?; (6) Are new CMOs using the same strategies and producing the same impacts as more established CMOs?; and (7) What other factors might contribute to CMO impacts? Appended are: (1) Construction and Analysis of Measures Used in Chapter III; (2) Experimental Impacts; (3) Validation of Impact Estimation Approach; (4) Methodology for Estimating CMO and School- Level Impacts on Achievement in Middle- Schools; (5) Baseline Equivalence; (6) Method for Dealing with Grade Repetition; (7) Methodology and Results for CMO Impacts on High School Achievement and Attainment; (8) Impacts on Middle School Test Scores by CMO, Year, and Subject; (9) Comparing CMO and Independent Charter Impacts; (10) Subgroup Impacts; (11) Multiple Comparison Adjustments for Impact Analyses; (12) Methods for Correlating Impacts and CMO Characteristics; and (13) Correlational Analysis Results. Individual chapters contain footnotes. (Contains 56 tables and 49 figures.) [This document was commissioned by NewSchools Venture Fund and written with assistance from Michael Barna, Emily Caffery, Hanley Chiang, John Deke, Melissa Dugger, Emma Ernst, Alena Davidoff-Gore, Eric Grau, Thomas Decker, Mason DeCamillis, Philip Gleason, Amanda Hakanson, Jane Nelson, Antoniya Owens, Julie Redline, Davin Reed, Chris Rodger, Margaret Sullivan, Christina Tuttle, Justin Vigeant, Tiffany Waits, and Clare Wolfendale. For an earlier edition of this report, "The National Study of Charter Management Organization (CMO) Effectiveness. Charter-School Management Organizations: Diverse Strategies and Diverse Student Impacts," see ED526951.]
Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. P.O. Box 2393, Princeton, NJ 08543-2393. Tel: 609-799-3535; Fax: 609-799-0005; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools; Higher Education; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Walton Family Foundation
Authoring Institution: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.; University of Washington, Center on Reinventing Public Education
What Works Clearinghouse Reviewed: Meets Evidence Standards with Reservations
IES Cited: ED530009; ED559928