Charter supporters often point to innovation and flexibility as hallmarks of the charter model. But, how did these attributes impact pandemic learning? New survey data from CREDO (Center for Research on Education Outcomes) at Stanford University tell quite a compelling story.
As it turns out, charter schools were experts in agility.
Survey of charter schools in three states
CREDO sent questionnaires to over 1,700 charter schools in three states: Washington, New York, and California. More than 500 schools responded, representing over 227,000 students.
From the first day of school closures, charters averaged just 3.5 days to reopen for online learning. In addition, almost all, 97%, provided teachers with professional development specifically around online learning. Charters elevated communication, reorganized curriculum, and moved quickly to ensure students and teachers had devices and connectivity.
CREDO’s press release notes:
“In multiple states and under varying conditions, the majority of charter schools we surveyed demonstrated resilience and creativity in responding to the physical and social challenges presented by COVID. They reacted strongly and acted quickly to shift to remote instruction. Communication was elevated as a priority. They assessed student and teacher needs for technology and mobilized resources and contacts to distribute technology and subsidize internet access.”