Reimagining Education

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Missouri Charter Schools Moving to the Top of the Class

Kate Casas, State Director, Children’s Education Alliance of Missouri

On July 5, the Economist reported in an article titled “Education: Charting a Better Course” that Missouri’s charter schools are in fact outpacing other public schools.

The Economist article came as a result of Mathematica, an independent policy group, making clear that an earlier study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) has been misinterpreted by critics of the charter movement.

The Economist reports that originally charter critics used the CREDO study as evidence that most charter schools were performing on par with other public schools while some were performing worse. However, Mathematica points out that the CREDO study actually proves two points charter school advocates have been long touting:

1. “The children who most need charters have been served well. Credo finds that students in poverty and English language learners fare better in charters.”

2. “Charter school performance is not so “mixed” if you look at the data on a state-by-state basis, rather than across the country as a whole. States with reading and maths gains that were significantly higher for charter-school students than in traditional schools included Arkansas, Colorado (Denver), Illinois (Chicago), Louisiana and Missouri.”

To read the full Economist article click here.

To read the full 2009 CREDO study click here.


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