Stanford University released its report, Multiple Choice: Charter School Performance in 16 States, on 15th June 2009.
“[T]he Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University found that there is a wide variance in the quality of the nation’s several thousand charter schools with, in the aggregate, students in charter schools not faring as well as students in traditional public schools.
While the report recognized a robust national demand for more charter schools from parents and local communities, it found that 17 percent of charter schools reported academic gains that were significantly better than traditional public schools, while 37 percent of charter schools showed gains that were worse than their traditional public school counterparts, with 46 percent of charter schools demonstrating no significant difference.” (1)
In a press conference, Margaret Raymond, director of CREDO and lead author of the report, said “We are worried by these results … This study shows that we’ve got a 2-to-1 margin of bad charters to good charters.” (2)
The Stanford report offered some encouraging news regarding students in poverty and English-language learners, saying they outperformed their public-school peers in both reading and math. However, learning gains for black and Hispanic charter-school students were significantly lower than those of their traditional-school twins, and as Charter Schools enroll more poor, black and Latino pupils this is a concern.
How Charter Schools would play out in New Zealand for students in similar groups is unclear.