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Morning Shots

On the 9th Day of Christmas CER Gave to Me…

9 Data Dancing!

(8th) Charter Schools Leading
(7th) Opportunity Scholars Expanding
(6th) Parent Power Growing
(5th) State Policy Changing
(4th) Reformie Ladies Lunching

(3rd) A Global Hub for Technology
 (2nd) Model Legislation
And a Nominee for Opportunity!

 

The 9th in our 12-ish days of Christmas series, intended to bring gifts to education reformers everywhere!

 

“Anyone can make data dance,” it’s been said.

That’s a reference often heard in research debates about whether or not someone’s findings are accurate, and usually to suggest that one person’s research is just as valid (or invalid) as another’s.

And yes, anyone can manipulate data, but not everyone uses the gold standard method of evaluations to help guide policy and decision-making. The gold standard is the term of art, for the best science to gauge whether something is working or not.  It uses real subjects, with similar characteristics, and tracks their progress to determine if the one major variable that distinguishes them might be responsible for their relative success or failure.

In the #edreform world that variable is most often a choice of schools. With literally thousands of comments, tweets, articles & the like constantly disparaging school choice results, CER brought together a distinguished panel of academicians and thought leaders this past November to create the first ever repository of “gold standard” guidelines for the education policy community. The forum was EdReform: Revived, and the findings from an ideologically diverse group conclusively demonstrate that not only does choice work for parents, its success from chartering to vouchers is clear and impactful from the student’s time in a choice school through college.

Giving new meaning to data dancing, these nine arbiters of data

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Onwards and upwards

up-buttonCharters are not only closing the achievement gap for those stuck in failing schools but educating diverse student populations that represent wide variation in income and race.

But what about their effect on students’ futures?

A study looked at the achievement and movement of charter students in Florida and Chicago and has found a direct (positive) impact on graduation rate and college matriculation.

Two key findings:

Students who attend a charter high school are 7 to 15 percentage points more likely to earn a standard diploma than students who attend a traditional public high school. Similarly, those attending a charter high school are 8 to 10 percentage points more likely to attend college.

The “what” is clear. Charter schools are providing the necessary environment for students to break the 70 percent graduation rate and not only earn their high school diploma but move on to college in many cases.

The “why” may take a little more time to nail down, but whatever it is, it’s working.

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