Proponents of school choice argue that charter schools improve the quality of education. Opponents retort that they just waste education dollars. A new report from the National Bureau of Economic Research finds that charter schools did improve school quality in North Carolina.
In 1996, North Carolina had no charter schools. By 2000, it had 91 charter schools that enrolled 14,899 students, about 1 percent of the state’s total public school enrollment. To determine whether these charter schools accomplished anything, the authors used end of year test scores for grades three through eight from North Carolina’s statewide testing program. They found:
For comparison, the authors point out that the North Carolina Governor’s Office proposed increasing achievement by reducing average class size by 1.8 students at a cost of $26 million in 2002. The data suggest that this would produce just one-third of the test score increase created by opening a neighboring charter school, a move that would not require any additional spending.
Source: Linda Gorman, “Does School Choice Increase School Quality?” National Bureau of Economic Research, NBER Digest, January 2004; based upon, George Holmes, Jeff DeSimone and Nicolas Rupp, “Does School Choice Increase School Quality?” National Bureau of Research, Working Paper No. 9683, May 2003.
For more, click here, for the National Bureau of Economic Research.
The Foundation should take a lot of pride in your influence on Georgia governmental policy over the past several years. If you look back on several things that you were crying in the wilderness about several years ago, you will find that Governor Miller adopted them…your influence and your pressure on that process has been a major factor in governmental policy in Georgia. You should be congratulated.