Plenty of studies have compared the progress of students in charter schools versus traditional public schools. And more than a dozen have examined the “competitive effects” of charters on neighboring district schools. Yet, to our knowledge, no prior study has directly addressed the trillion-dollar question—that is, whether overall achievement increases as the “market share” of charter schools grows.
Rising Tide: Charter School Market Share and Student Achievement, authored by Fordham’s David Griffith, is a first-of-its-kind study that looks at the relationship between “charter market share” and the academic achievement of all students in a given community, including those in traditional public schools. To accomplish this, the report uses data from a new source, which allows researchers to compare English language arts and math scores from thousands of school districts and dozens of different tests.