Education News

Charter School Performance Varies by Region

Charter School Performance Varies by Region

When charter schools first sprouted as alternative public school offerings, they were perceived as “incubators of innovation;” however, recent studies show that charter school innovation or creativity varies depending on the school.

While some charter schools are exceptional, there are some that fail by comparison. According to studies released since 2009 by the National Charter School Research Project, and the Center for Research on Education Outcomes, or CREDO, a school’s performance is determined “by operator, by geography, and by school philosophy.”

“There certainly are innovative charter schools,” said Kevin G. Welner, the director of the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder, “but there are others that are not. What takes place in the classroom at a charter school can look the same as any other classroom—and usually does.”

Schools with strong parent involvement or “parent choice” and those with the “no excuses” philosophy like KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) schools tend to have higher performance levels. Disparities between urban and rural charter schools also have an impact on innovation.

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Read the most recent CREDO Report.

Photo Courtesy: Education Week