Have charter schools lived up to their promise?

“A new national study of charter schools finds some improvement in school performance, but shows students at charters still aren’t doing as well as students in traditional public schools,” reports Tim Post of MPR News.

Critics of the charter movement in Minnesota say it is further proof that charters are not living up to their promise. But charter supporters say the study is too narrow in scope and does not take into consideration other ways charters are helping students.

The Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University published its first study on charter schools back in 2009. That study showed more than a third of charters across the country performed significantly worse than traditional public schools, and fewer than half did as well as their district counterparts.

In the latest study those numbers have improved by several percentage points and finds that charter schools across the country and in Minnesota are doing a better job than district schools at helping students improve their reading scores during the year.

“We find that there has been slow and steady progress,” said Margaret Raymond, the center’s director and author of the report.

However, Minnesota charter schools are not doing quite as well as district schools in helping students gain during the year in math.

When it comes to year-end final testing, charter school students still are not scoring as high as their district counterparts.

Today’s Question: Have charter schools lived up to their promise?