UIndy Report: Students Perform Better in Charter Schools

Advocates of charter schools should be encouraged by a recent report by the University of Indianapolis that featured some enlightening findings. Inside Indiana Business lists the highlights:

• Charter school students differ from traditional school students in critical ways: They enter charter schools at an academic disadvantage relative to their traditional school counterparts, as evidenced by their entering scores on the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress (ISTEP), and they are more likely to be members of minority groups and low-income households.

• Charter schools have the same attendance and stability rates as traditional schools.

• Students who had been enrolled at least two years in their charter school showed significantly greater academic growth when compared to a controlled sample of students from traditional Indiana schools that were similar in demographic characteristics and baseline academic achievement. Charter school students showed 22% more growth in reading, 18% more growth in math and 25% more growth in language usage.

• The growth in reading and language usage for charter students exceeded national growth averages. Math growth was on a par with the national average.

• Cost per unit of academic growth was lower in charter schools

The study was commissioned by Indiana Black Expo, the Indianapolis Urban League and the DeHaan Family Foundation.

0 thoughts on “UIndy Report: Students Perform Better in Charter Schools

  1. This article deserves to be shouted from the rooftops. HOWEVER, there should be full disclosure on the UIndy report. I find it difficult to accept research that has a couple of red flags. The report was commissioned in part by the Dehaan Family Foundation. Christel was former Chair of the board of Trustees at UIndy, the school has the Christel Dehaan performing arts center AND she founded the charter school Christel House Academy. Maybe, just maybe, we knew the results before we did the research. Even the report eludes to needing further research.
    I have substituted at CHA and it is run with precision. I have a great deal of respect for that organization.
    Back to the report. I do find it odd that the data points did not include the teachers. Could that be one of the reasons they perform better than public schools? My experience says it is.

  2. Bill, good points on the disclosure and I don’t believe anyone is saying this report has all the answers. But there is so much misleading information out there that this was particularly timely and included some excellent things to consider.

    At a time when school choice options needs to be fully explored and expanded, we’ve got a legislative bill that wants to put a moratorium on charters. One would have thought we were way past that stage.