In Newark, Public Charters Lift All Boats–and Here’s the Proof

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Earlier this week the Newark Municipal Council Education Committee quizzed Superintendent Roger León about district student learning loss; meanwhile an analysis found that Newark public charter school students made up  more ground than their traditional district counterparts. During the meeting Kyle Rosenkrans, Executive Director of the New Jersey Children’s Foundation, presented documentation on the impact of charters in Newark, including how their presence increases district revenue; how the growth of Newark’s charter sector improves learning for district students; and how Newark charters retain students with disabilities and English Language Learners.

Here is the research cited by Rosenkrans.

Research on Newark Charter School Student Learning & Cross-Sector Improvement: A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats

Newark Charter Performance Is Not Statistical Fluke

  • A 2020 Boston University study compared student performance at Newark’s district and charter schools while controlling for student demographics and found that “enrollment in a Newark charter school that participated in the common enrollment system leads to large improvements in math and English language arts (ELA) test scores, on average.” The Effect of Attending a Charter School in Newark, New Jersey on Student Test Scores, Marcus Winters Ph.D., Boston University (2020).
  • A 2021 Stanford University study also controlled for student demographics and found that Newark charter school students made stronger gains than the New Jersey’s state average in all three school years studied–no small feat in a state frequently ranked number one in public education. City Study 2021: Newark, Stanford Center for Research on Education Outcomes (2021).
  • A 2021 Boston University study found that Newark charter schools do not “push out” students with special needs, and English Language Learners. In fact, these students were more likely to remain enrolled at charter schools than at district schools, and more likely to improve their learning such that they no longer needed special education and english language learner services. The Effect of Charter Schooling on Student Mobility and Classification Status, Allison Gilmour, Colin Shanks, & Marcus A. Winters, Boston University (2021).

(Photo courtesy of New Jersey Globe.)

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