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A new study by Stanford University’s acclaimed CREDO institute shows that Michigan is one of the top 10 states when it comes to charter school performance.
The study also showed that Michigan’s charter schools are leading the way when it comes to closing the achievement gap. A student in a Michigan charter school gains an additional 36 days a year of learning in English and 24 days a year of learning in math, compared to an identical student in a traditional public school.
These findings are significant. The Michigan Department of Education and the state superintendent have a goal of making Michigan a top-10 state when it comes to public education. We’re already there when it comes to charter school performance and I’m sure the state takes great pride in that. We have so much work left to do, but this study shows that Michigan’s charter schools are leading the way,” said Dan Quisenberry, President of the Michigan Association of Public School Academies (MAPSA), the state charter school association.
The study by CREDO (the Center for Research on Education Outcomes) was conducted before the pandemic, covering the years 2015 through 2019. CREDO looked at charter school performance in 29 states, including Michigan, as well as Washington, D.C. The study also looked at New York City separately from the rest of New York.
More that 1.8 million charter school students were paired with a “virtual twin” (a student having the same demographic traits and similar prior test scores) enrolled at a traditional public school that the charter school student otherwise would have attended. CREDO then studied how that same student did in a charter school compared to how they would have done in a traditional public school.
The entire report can be found here. Among the findings:
Macke Raymond of Stanford University, the founder and director of CREDO, said the findings are “remarkable.” She also noted that other public schools should look to emulate what charter schools are doing.
The bigger lesson now in the post-COVID world is, hey guys, if you’re looking for a way to improve outcomes for kids, here is an absolutely demonstrated framework that you can look at and maybe apply it in other contexts,” she said.
When you compare [our findings with] the results of NAEP — which, over an equivalent period, have completely flatlined — what you’re looking at is really the only story in U.S. education policy where we’ve been able to create a set of conditions such that schools actually do get better,” Raymond added.