Estimating the Effects of a Large For-Profit Charter School Operator

83 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2018

See all articles by Susan M. Dynarski

Susan M. Dynarski

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy; University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - School of Education

Daniel Hubbard

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

Brian A. Jacob

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Silvia Robles

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

Date Written: March 2018

Abstract

In this paper, we leverage randomized admissions lotteries to estimate the impact of attending a National Heritage Academy (NHA) charter school. NHA is the fourth largest for-profit charter operator in the country, enrolling more than 56,000 students in 86 schools across 9 states. Unlike several of the other large for-profit companies that operate virtual charters, NHA only has standard bricks-and-mortar schools. Our estimates indicate that attending a NHA charter school for one additional year is associated with a 0.04 standard deviation increase in math achievement. Effects on other outcomes are smaller and not statistically significant. In contrast to most prior charter school research that finds the largest benefits for low-income, underrepresented minorities in urban areas, the benefits of attending an NHA charter network are concentrated among non-poor students attending charter schools outside urban areas. Using data from a survey of school administrators in traditional public and charter schools, we document several aspects of school organization, culture and instructional practice that might explain these positive effects.

Suggested Citation

Dynarski, Susan M. and Hubbard, Daniel and Jacob, Brian A. and Robles, Silvia, Estimating the Effects of a Large For-Profit Charter School Operator (March 2018). NBER Working Paper No. w24428. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3149234

Susan M. Dynarski (Contact Author)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy ( email )

735 South State Street, Weill Hall
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - School of Education ( email )

610 East University Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1259
United States

Daniel Hubbard

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy ( email )

735 South State Street, Weill Hall
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

Brian A. Jacob

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor ( email )

500 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

Silvia Robles

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy ( email )

735 South State Street, Weill Hall
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
11
Abstract Views
209
PlumX Metrics