New study shows charter growth helps close achievement gaps

By January 27, 2022 News

A new study from the Fordham Institute offers good news about charter schools and achievement gaps. Released yesterday, the study finds charter growth helps close achievement gaps for low-income and minority students. It looked at charter schools’ share of the local education market, then evaluating potential links with student achievement. The study included over 900 metro areas nationwide.

Here are two key study questions, according to Fordham:

“Can a rising tide of charter schools carry students in America’s largest metro areas—including those in traditional public schools—before it? And if so, how far?”

The answers should provide real encouragement to charter operators and education reformers alike. Read more below.

Some key findings:

  • First, when charters comprise a larger share of the education market, disadvantaged students benefit academically. Higher charter market share is linked with higher math achievement for all low-income, Black, and Hispanic students. This includes students in district schools.
  • Second, when charter enrollment for Black and Hispanic students is higher, performance is better: Math scores for these student groups are higher.
  • Third, “charter schools have the potential to significantly reduce America’s racial and socioeconomic achievement gaps.” Gains linked with charter growth are most evident in the biggest metro areas, such as New York or Houston, the study notes.

Access the report here or click on the image from Fordham below.

A new report from the Fordham Institute finds charter growth helps narrow achievement gaps. Image credit: Fordham Institute