P:olicy & Analysis
Report: Charter Middle Schools Don’t Improve College Outcomes
A new report from the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance finds students in charter middle schools didn’t have any signs of increased academic achievement when it comes to earning college degrees compared to their peers.
While the charter school sector has grown significantly since 1992, a
study from the U.S. Department of Education’s
Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance
finds middle school enrollment in a charter school did not affect
students’ chances of enrolling or completing college. The study
focuses on students who were enrolled in middle school during the
2005-2006 and 2006-2007 school years in 36 charter middle schools in
admission to charter middle schools in the study were about as likely
to attend four-year institutions and two-year institutions as those
not offered admission. There were also no effects on the number of
years that students attended college, either overall or in four-year
versus two-year schools,” according to the report.
When it comes to
test scores, the researchers found there was “little evidence”
that a charter middle school’s effects on middle school scores were
related to improvements on college enrollment and completion compared
to other schools.
This new study comes
at a time when ED Secretary Betsy DeVos is pushing for more funding
for charter schools through Education
Freedom Scholarships. The new policy would provide a
$5 billion annual federal tax credit for voluntary donations to
state-based scholarship programs.
will be funded through voluntary contributions from taxpayers to
state-identified scholarship granting organizations. States would
also have the option whether they want to participate in the
initiative and how to select eligible students, education providers
and allowable education expenses.
element of the proposal is freedom for all involved," said DeVos
in a statement when the new initiative was announced. "Students,
families, teachers, schools, states — all can participate, if they
choose, and do so in the ways that work best for them. The major
shift is that a student's needs and preferences, not their address or
family income, will determine the type and quality of education they
the same time that DeVos announced the new scholarship initiative in
February, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.)
introduced the Education
Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act bill into
both chambers of Congress.
fully copy of the NCEE study can be found here.
Sara Friedman is a reporter/producer for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe covering education policy and a wide range of other public-sector IT topics.
Friedman is a graduate of Ithaca College, where she studied journalism, politics and international communications.
Friedman can be contacted at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @SaraEFriedman.
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