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The effect of charter schools on achievement and behavior of public school students

  • Imberman, Scott A.

Charter schools have seen dramatic growth over the last decade. However, we know little about how they affect traditional public schools. I look at how charters affect student outcomes in public schools using data from a large urban school district in the southwest. Unlike prior work that relies on school fixed effects, I address the endogenous location of charter schools using an instrumental variables strategy that relies on plausibly exogenous variation in local building supply. Results show that charters induce modest but statistically significant drops in math and language test scores, particularly for elementary students. However, results for middle and high school students show improvements in discipline.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 95 (2011)
Issue (Month): 7-8 (August)
Pages: 850-863

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:95:y:2011:i:7-8:p:850-863
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  1. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin & Gregory F. Branch, 2005. "Charter School Quality and Parental Decision Making With School Choice," NBER Working Papers 11252, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Tim R. Sass, 2006. "Charter Schools and Student Achievement in Florida," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 1(1), pages 91-122, January.
  3. Richard Buddin & Ron Zimmer, 2005. "Student achievement in charter schools: A complex picture," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(2), pages 351-371.
  4. David N. Figlio, 2005. "Boys Named Sue: Disruptive Children and their Peers," NBER Working Papers 11277, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Gregory R. Weiher & Kent L. Tedin, 2002. "Does choice lead to racially distinctive schools? Charter schools and household preferences," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(1), pages 79-92.
  6. Carmit Segal, 2008. "Classroom Behavior," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
  7. Robert Bifulco & Helen F. Ladd, 2006. "The Impacts of Charter Schools on Student Achievement: Evidence from North Carolina," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 1(1), pages 50-90, January.
  8. Booker, Kevin & Gilpatric, Scott M. & Gronberg, Timothy & Jansen, Dennis, 2008. "The effect of charter schools on traditional public school students in Texas: Are children who stay behind left behind?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 123-145, July.
  9. George M. Holmes, . "Does school choice increase school quality?," Working Papers 0106, East Carolina University, Department of Economics.
  10. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin & Daniel M. O'Brien, 2005. "The Market for Teacher Quality," Discussion Papers 04-025, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  11. Caroline M. Hoxby & Sonali Murarka, 2009. "Charter Schools in New York City: Who Enrolls and How They Affect Their Students' Achievement," NBER Working Papers 14852, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Scott Imberman, 2008. "Achievement and Behavior in Charter Schools: Drawing a More Complete Picture," Working Papers 2009-01, Department of Economics, University of Houston.
  13. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," NBER Working Papers 12006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Hanushek, Eric A. & Rivkin, Steven G., 2006. "Teacher Quality," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  15. Scott E. Carrell & Mark L. Hoekstra, 2008. "Externalities in the Classroom: How Children Exposed to Domestic Violence Affect Everyone's Kids," NBER Working Papers 14246, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Cardon, James H., 2003. "Strategic quality choice and charter schools," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 729-737, March.
  17. Damon Clark, 2009. "The Performance and Competitive Effects of School Autonomy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(4), pages 745-783, 08.
  18. Booker, Kevin & Gilpatric, Scott M. & Gronberg, Timothy & Jansen, Dennis, 2007. "The impact of charter school attendance on student performance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(5-6), pages 849-876, June.
  19. Bettinger, Eric P., 2005. "The effect of charter schools on charter students and public schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 133-147, April.
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