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ERIC Number: ED539901
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
What Works Clearinghouse Quick Review: "Charter School Performance in New Jersey"
What Works Clearinghouse
"Charter School Performance in New Jersey" examined whether students in grades 3-8 attending charter schools in New Jersey made more gains in math and reading achievement than similar students attending traditional public schools. Based on an analysis across charter schools, the authors reported that charter school students made significantly greater year-to-year gains in math and reading than similar students in non-charter schools. Because the authors analyzed gain scores--the difference in standardized test scores from one year to the next--the computed effect sizes are not easily interpretable. The authors calculated that the effect sizes are roughly equivalent to two to three months of learning, but they indicated that this can only be estimated imprecisely and it should be interpreted with caution. Using the same matching method and estimating an impact for each charter school, the authors also reported that the impact of attending a charter school on student math and reading achievement gains varied from school to school. Although students at some charter schools showed significantly higher or significantly lower achievement gains compared to students in non-charter schools, most charter schools had student gains that were not different from the gains of students in non-charter schools. The study meets What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) standards with reservations. Although the charter school students were matched with traditional public school students on test scores and demographic characteristics, there may be other differences between the groups that were not accounted for in the analysis. In addition, caution must be exercised when interpreting the results of analysis of impacts by school, because the authors did not adjust for the fact that, when conducting multiple statistical tests of significance (in this case, one for each charter school), it becomes more likely that some impacts will be statistically significant by chance. Thus, the percentages of schools exhibiting statistically significant differences in gains may be overstated.
Descriptors: Reading Achievement, Charter Schools, Achievement Gains, Standardized Tests, Statistical Significance, Effect Size, Mathematics Achievement, Traditional Schools, Elementary School Students, Middle School Students, Comparative Analysis
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Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 3; Grade 4; Grade 5; Grade 6; Grade 7; Grade 8
Authoring Institution: What Works Clearinghouse (ED)
Identifiers - Location: New Jersey