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ERIC Number: ED543579
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 5
Resource Allocation and Performance Management in Charter Schools: Connections to Student Success. Research Brief
Wong, Kenneth K.; Shen, Francis X.; Purvis, Elizabeth D.
National Center on School Choice, Vanderbilt University (NJ1)
A consensus is emerging among researchers who study charter schools that general conclusions about whether or not charter schools nationally perform better than traditional public schools are difficult to achieve (Buddin & Zimmer, 2005). Rather than asking, "Are charter schools working?" the better questions to ask might be, "Which charter schools are effective and which are not?" and "What explains the differences between the two?" In an attempt to address these questions, the current study focused on one unique charter school--the Chicago International Charter School (Chicago International or CICS). Chicago International is unique both for its academic successes and its management structure. The study sought to better understand CICS performance at both the systemwide and campus levels, focusing specifically on (1) resource allocation decisions by CICS-contracted education management organizations (EMOs) and (2) CICS management practices to hold these EMOs accountable. The study was made possible through a partnership between Chicago International and researchers from the National Center on School Choice, which allowed for examination of student-level achievement data as well as annual audit data collected from 2003 through 2006 for CICS campuses. The central research question of the study, which focused on Grades K-8, was: "To what extent can fiscal and operational decision-making processes used by Chicago International and its partner EMOs explain CICS student success?" Key findings include: (1) Student achievement and EMO spending could not be linked; (2) The success of Chicago International can be attributed to a mission-driven approach to education that focuses on high-quality instruction, insistence on a disciplined environment, and ongoing performance evaluation; and (3) Collaborative processes with EMOs and the clear delineation of duties between EMOs and the CICs central office also contribute to CICs success. (Contains 3 footnotes.) [This brief summarizes a paper that was prepared for the National Center on School Choice Conference held in October 2009.]
National Center on School Choice, Vanderbilt University. Box 459 GPC, 230 Appleton Place, Nashville, TN 37203. Tel: 615-322-8107; Fax: 615-322-8828; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: Vanderbilt University, National Center on School Choice
Identifiers - Location: Illinois