Is there a formula to charter school success?

In their recently published study, “What Can We Learn from Charter School Lotteries?” Julia Chabrier, Sarah Cohodes, and Philip Oreopoulos take a closer look at students who have and have not been chosen to enroll in a charter school. Lotteries provide the kind of random assignment of individuals to “treatment” and “control” groups so highly valued by social science researchers because it eliminates population bias and other empirical sticky wickets.
Overall, Chabrier and her colleagues found that each year of enrollment at a charter school “increases math scores by 0.08 standard deviations and English/language arts scores by 0.04 standard deviations.” While these are impressive gains, there was a great deal of variation in the performance of charter school students.

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