Stanford Study Shows Urban Charter Schools Outperform Peers in Reading and Math

For Immediate Release
March 18, 2015
Riya V. Anandwala
202 521 2833

Washington, D.C. – Public charter schools in many of the largest urban districts are dramatically outperforming their traditional public school peers in reading and Math, according to a new study released today by Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO).

CREDO’s Urban Charter Schools Study found that public charter schools located in the nation’s largest urban districts are showing significant positive performance impacts for the most disadvantaged students. Overall, students enrolled in urban public charter schools gained 40 additional days of learning in math and 28 additional days in reading compared to their traditional public school peers. Moreover, the longer a student attended an urban public charter school, the greater the gains.

The study also showed that four or more years of enrollment in an urban charter school led to 108 additional learning days in math and 72 more days of learning gains in reading. This is a significant finding, given that more than half of all charter schools are in urban areas.

“The latest study from CREDO builds on the growing body of research demonstrating that public charter schools are providing high-quality public options for families across the nation, particularly the most disadvantaged families, so many of which have been without quality options for far too long.

We hope that policymakers in states and in Washington, D.C. recognize the tremendous impact that charter schools have in communities, and will voice their support for growing the number of high quality charter schools.

This study also serves as a basis for public charter schools across the country to learn from the best practices demonstrated by these urban charters on how to achieve significantly higher levels of growth with students of similar profile and learning needs,” said Nina Rees, president and CEO at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

About Public Charter Schools
Public charter schools are independent, public, and tuition-free schools that are given the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable for advancing student achievement. Since 2010, many independent research studies have found that students in charter schools do better in school than their traditional school peers. For example, one study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University found that charter schools do a better job teaching low income students, minority students, and students who are still learning English than traditional schools. Separate studies by the Center on Reinventing Public Education and Mathematica Policy Research have found that charter school students are more likely to graduate from high school, go on to college, stay in college and have higher earnings in early adulthood.

About the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement. Our mission is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter sector. For more information, please visit our website at