The Evolution of Charter School Quality

46 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2014

See all articles by Patrick Baude

Patrick Baude

University of Illinois at Chicago

Marcus D. Casey

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Economics

Eric A. Hanushek

Stanford University - Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Steven G. Rivkin

Amherst College - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: October 2014

Abstract

Studies of the charter school sector typically focus on head-to-head comparisons of charter and traditional schools at a point in time, but the expansion of parental choice and relaxation of constraints on school operations is unlikely to raise school quality overnight. Rather, the success of the reform depends in large part on whether parental choices induce improvements in the charter sector. We study quality changes among Texas charter schools between 2001 and 2011. Our results suggest that the charter sector was initially characterized by schools whose quality was highly variable and, on average, less effective than traditional public schools. However, exits from the sector, improvement of existing charter schools, and positive selection of charter management organizations that open additional schools raised average charter school effectiveness over time relative to traditional public schools. Moreover, the evidence is consistent with the belief that a reduction in student turnover as the sector matures, expansion of the share of charters that adhere to a No Excuses philosophy, and increasingly positive student selection at the times of both entry and reenrollment all contribute to the improvement of the charter sector.

Suggested Citation

Baude, Patrick and Casey, Marcus D. and Hanushek, Eric A. and Rivkin, Steven G., The Evolution of Charter School Quality (October 2014). NBER Working Paper No. w20645. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2518735

Patrick Baude (Contact Author)

University of Illinois at Chicago ( email )

1200 W Harrison St
Chicago, IL 60607
United States

Marcus D. Casey

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Economics ( email )

Champaign, IL 61820
United States

Eric A. Hanushek

Stanford University - Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305-6010
United States
650-736-0942 (Phone)
650-723-1687 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Steven G. Rivkin

Amherst College - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 5000
Amherst, MA 01002-5000
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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