Skip to Content

What the Research Says

Charter School Teachers Leave in Droves, Study Finds - Nearly 40 percent of newer charter school teachers flee for other jobs, according to a study funded by the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.
June 2007

Public Schools: As Good or Better Than Charter, Private Schools - A study from the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education found that students in regular public schools do as well or significantly better than comparable students in private and charter schools. This large-scale study, financed by the U.S. Department of Education, compared 4th and 8th grade math scores of more than 340,000 students in 13,000 regular public, charter and private schools on the 2003 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), commonly called "the nation’s report card."
January 2006

Study Says Public Schools Outperform Charter Schools

Charter School Achievement on the 2003 National Assessment of Educational Progress (PDF 183 KB, 26pp) - A report released by the American Federation of Teachers analyzing the performance of charter school students on the 2003 National Assessment of Educational Progress.

Charter Schools Show No Gains over Public Schools - National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) released its own analysis of the data, which confirmed AFT's conclusion that charter school students, on average, score lower than students in traditional public schools. NAGB also looked at the role of teachers and found that the scores of students taught by uncertified teachers in charter schools were significantly lower than those of charter school students with certified teachers. Likewise, charter school students with inexperienced teachers did significantly worse than students in traditional public schools with less experienced teachers. 
August 2004

More Research Reports on Charter Schools

Evaluation of the Public Charter Schools Program: Final Report - In this four-year study of the federally funded program, the U.S. Department of Education found that many charter school authorizers lack the capacity to adequately oversee charter school operations, often lack authority to implement formal sanctions, and rarely invoke the authority they do have to revoke or not renew a charter. Where charters have been revoked or not renewed, the decision has been linked to noncompliance with state and federal regulations, and to financial problems more than problems with academic performance.

Educational Performance and Charter School Authorizers: The Accountability Bind - Researcher Katrina Bulkley explores why few charter schools have been closed for failure to demonstrate academic improvement, and concludes that authorizers must develop new accountability models that rely less on an all-or-nothing renewal decision than ongoing oversight that includes consultation, technical assistance and intervention where needed. 2001