New Study: Charter, Choice Outperform Public Schools in Growth, Test Scores

Will Flanders:

Here are 5 findings for our upcoming report on school performance:
1. Milwaukee: Choice Schools Lead in Student Proficiency (even more significantly than DPI data suggests)
Wisconsin’s private and charter schools, much maligned by Governor Evers and other leaders on the left, continue to succeed for Wisconsin students. Once schools are put on a level playing field, all types of charters show a proficiency advantage over traditional public schools (TPS). Led by schools like Carmen Middle/High School of Science and Technology in Milwaukee, non-instrumentalities have 12% higher proficiency in English and 13% higher proficiency in math on average than TPS. This dramatic performance positively exceeded every other sector measured.
Independent charter schools, schools in which the governor has attempted to freeze enrollment, exceeded TPS proficiency rates in math by 8%, as did instrumentality charters (for a brief primer on charter school types, look here). No effect of independent charters or instrumentalities was found for English. Private schools in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program have higher proficiency rates in both math and English. Proficiency was 4.7% higher in English, and about 4% higher in math than TPS. The inclusion of control variables widens these gaps in most cases, meaning that the results are more positive for choice schools than the data on DPI’s website which lacks controls.

These findings will be enlightening to Governor Evers, who in an interview earlier this week declared vouchers to perform similar to students at Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS).

Related: “The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”