While it’s gratifying to read the June 25 headline, “Nationwide charter school study finds overall performance improvement,” it’s also disconcerting. The study, from a group called CREDO, is anything but charter school performance gospel.
The reality is we cannot make conclusions about charter schools nationwide without randomized control trials — the gold standard for research — that use actual student-by-student data over time.
The CREDO report fails to use such methods. The report instead employs statistical gymnastics to make spurious comparisons of charter achievement across state lines while altering data to ensure all students “start” at the same level.
CREDO results do not accurately convey results of charter and traditional public schools. State-by-state and community-by-community analyses are the only real measures that offer validity to parents and policymakers.
— Jeanne Allen, president, The Center for Education Reform, Washington, D.C.