Charter Schools and Student Achievement
The New York City Charter Schools Evaluation Project is a
multi-year study on the effects of charter schools on student
achievement. Below are the major points from the Executive Summary. To
see the complete study, please click here: http://www.nber.org/~schools/charterschoolseval/.
- Charter school applicants are much more likely to be
black and much less likely to be Asian or white than the average
student in New York City's traditional public schools. [Chapter II]
- Charter school applicants are more likely to be poor
than the average student in New York City's traditional public schools.
- Charter schools' lotteries appear to be truly
random, as they are designed to be. Our tests for randomness are based
on students' race, ethnicity, gender, prior test scores, free and
reduced-price lunch participation, special education participation, and
English Learner status. [Chapter II]
- Students who actually enroll in charter schools appear to be a random subset of the students who were admitted. [Chapter II]
- Lottery-based analysis of charter schools' effects
on achievement is, by far, the most reliable method of evaluation. It is
the only method that reliably eliminates "selection biases" which occur
if students who apply to charter schools are more disadvantaged, more
motivated, or different in any other way than students who do not apply.
- On average, a student who attended a charter school
for all of grades kindergarten through eight would close about 86
percent of the "Scarsdale-Harlem achievement gap" in math and 66 percent
of the achievement gap in English. A student who attended fewer grades
would improve by a commensurately smaller amount. [Chapter IV]
- On average, a lotteried-out student who stayed in
the traditional public schools for all of grades kindergarten through
eight would stay on grade level but would not close the
"Scarsdale-Harlem achievement gap" by much. However, the lotteried-out
students' performance does improve and is better than the norm in the
U.S. where, as a rule, disadvantaged students fall further behind as
they age. [Chapter IV]
- Compared to his lotteried-out counterpart, a student
who attends a charter high school has Regents examination scores that
are about 3 points higher for each year he spends in the charter school
before taking the test. For instance, a student who took the English
Comprehensive exam after three years in charter school would score about
9 points higher. [Chapter IV]
- A student who attends a charter high school is about
7 percent more likely to earn a Regents diploma by age 20 for each year
he spends in that school. For instance, a student who spent grades ten
through twelve in charter high school would have about a 21 percent
higher probability of getting a Regents diploma. [Chapter IV]
- The following policies are associated with a charter
school's having better effects on achievement. We emphasize that these
are merely associations and do not necessarily indicate that these
policies cause achievement to improve.
- a long school year;
- a greater number of minutes devoted to English during each school day;
- a small rewards/small penalties disciplinary policy;
- teacher pay based somewhat on performance or
duties, as opposed to a traditional pay scale based strictly on
seniority and credentials;
- a mission statement that emphasizes academic performance, as opposed to other goals. [Chapter V]
KidPower is an international organization that teaches
personal safety and confidence building. CMCA holds KidPower classes
throughout the year at the Wahsatch campus. For more information on
Colorado Springs KidPower, please visit their website: www.kidpowercs.org. Please visit Kidpower International’s website, www.kidpower.org, for more information on the organization as well as to access free resources on personal safety and confidence building.
A Letter from Irene van der Zande, International Executive Director of KidPower
A new study about violence against children was just
released by the U.S. Department of Justice. According to the study
director and director of the University of New Hampshire Crimes Against
Children Research Center, David Finkelhor, Ph.D., "Children experience
far more violence, abuse and crime than do adults. If life were this
dangerous for ordinary grown-ups, we'd never tolerate it."
The study found that over 60% of the children surveyed were
exposed either directly or indirectly to some form of violence in the
last year. The results were based on telephone interviews of 4,549 kids
and adolescents aged 17 and younger between January and May of 2008. The
National Survey of Children's Exposure to Violence was sponsored by the
Justice Department's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency
Prevention, with help from the Centers for Disease Control. Click here for a link to the study.
This report is extremely important because awareness is a
critical first step to get people to pay attention to a problem.
However, when awareness about an upsetting issue is raised without
telling people what to do, anxiety is heightened. Kidpower People Safety
Skills prepare adults and children to take charge of the emotional and
physical safety of themselves and others.
- Put Safety First - ahead of being
inconvenienced, embarrassed, or offended - and teach children to do the
same. Show children that their safety is more important to you than
uncomfortable feelings or a busy schedule. For example, speak up if a
family member or friend is teasing a child in an unkind way or forcing
affection on a child, even if this person may be embarrassed.
- Take charge of children's information "diet"
with the same commitment that you protect children from eating spoiled
food to protect them from getting sick. This means paying attention to
the games they play, movies or television they watch, and what they hear
from children and from adults.
- Set a good example by modeling
positive, powerful adult leadership. Make being mean in any form against
the rules of your family, school, and other places children might find
themselves. Uphold these rules with the same determination that you
would stop people from picking up rocks and throwing them through your
windows. If you find yourself or someone you love losing control and
acting in a violent way, get help instead of trying to face problems
alone. Everyone deserves to be supported in the challenges of parenthood
and family life.
- Teach children that you want them to come to you for help anytime they feel unsafe
because problems should not have to be secrets. Ask them occasionally,
"Is there anything you've been wondering or worrying about that you
haven't told me?" Listen calmly to their answers without lecturing, and
thank them for telling you even if it seems silly to you or you think
they did something wrong.
- Learn for yourself and then teach your children skills
for being emotionally and physically safe with other people and with
themselves. Create and practice safety plans for all settings and
Keys to Success
Research suggests there is truth behind Thomas Edison's
quotation: “Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent
perspiration." Click here to read an article for more information.