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ERIC Number: EJ763318
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1539-9664
Friendly Competition: Does the Presence of Charters Spur Public Schools to Improve?
Holmes, George M.; DeSimone, Jeff; Rupp, Nicholas G.
Education Next, v6 n1 p67-70 Win 2006
Most research on charter schools, and the most intense public debate over their desirability, has focused on the impact of these new schools on the students who attend them. But charter proponents also hope that the threat of students' leaving will spur traditional schools to higher levels of achievement. In the long run, such system-wide improvements, if positive, could even outweigh any negative effects on the individual students they enroll. The purpose of this study is to answer this question: Can competition from a new kind of public school, right around the block or down the road in many cases, inspire traditional schools to improve? To address this question, the authors have examined the link between the establishment of charter schools in North Carolina and average student proficiency rates at the traditional public schools most affected by the new source of competition. The authors use the proficiency rates, an aggregate measure of school performance, to distinguish their work from other recent studies that examine the performance gains made by individual students. Results of the study indicate that traditional public schools in North Carolina responded to even the limited competition provided by charter schools by improving their average proficiency rates. However, a comparison of the authors' results with those of other studies that examine the learning gains made by individual students suggests the need for caution in interpreting their results as unambiguously positive.
Hoover Institution. Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-6010. Tel: 800-935-2882; Fax: 650-723-8626; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina