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Achievement and Behavior in Charter Schools: Drawing a More Complete Picture

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  • Scott A. Imberman

    (University of Houston)

Abstract

I use a long panel with broad grade coverage to establish whether charter schools affect cognitive and noncognitive skill formation. Schools that begin as charters generate large improvements in discipline and attendance but not test scores, with the exception of math in middle schools. This suggests improvements in noncognitive but not cognitive skills, although these improvements do not persist if students return to regular public schools. Charters that convert from regular public schools have little impact on either skill type. These results are robust to potential biases from selection off of precharter trends, attrition, and persistence. © 2011 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Scott A. Imberman, 2011. "Achievement and Behavior in Charter Schools: Drawing a More Complete Picture," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 416-435, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:93:y:2011:i:2:p:416-435
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hanushek, Eric A. & Kain, John F. & Rivkin, Steven G. & Branch, Gregory F., 2007. "Charter school quality and parental decision making with school choice," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 823-848.
    2. Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2007. "The Production of Cognitive Achievement in Children: Home, School, and Racial Test Score Gaps," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, pages 91-136.
    3. Epple, D. & Romano, R. & Zimmer, R., 2016. "Charter Schools," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    4. 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.
    5. Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2007. "The Production of Cognitive Achievement in Children: Home, School, and Racial Test Score Gaps," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, pages 91-136.
    6. Booker, Kevin & Gilpatric, Scott M. & Gronberg, Timothy & Jansen, Dennis, 2007. "The impact of charter school attendance on student performance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 849-876.
    7. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 411-482, July.
    8. Heckman, James J & Smith, Jeffrey A, 1999. "The Pre-programme Earnings Dip and the Determinants of Participation in a Social Programme. Implications for Simple Programme Evaluation Strategies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(457), pages 313-348, July.
    9. Tim R. Sass, 2006. "Charter Schools and Student Achievement in Florida," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, pages 91-122.
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    Cited by:

    1. Joshua D. Angrist & Parag A. Pathak & Christopher R. Walters, 2013. "Explaining Charter School Effectiveness," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 1-27, October.
    2. Jackson, C. Kirabo, 2012. "School competition and teacher labor markets: Evidence from charter school entry in North Carolina," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 431-448.
    3. Zimmer, Ron & Gill, Brian & Booker, Kevin & Lavertu, Stéphane & Witte, John, 2012. "Examining charter student achievement effects across seven states," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 213-224.
    4. Figlio, D. & Karbownik, K. & Salvanes, K.G., 2016. "Education Research and Administrative Data," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    5. John Engberg & Dennis Epple & Jason Imbrogno & Holger Sieg & Ron Zimmer, 2014. "Evaluating Education Programs That Have Lotteried Admission and Selective Attrition," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(1), pages 27-63.
    6. Julia Schwenkenberg & James VanderHoff, 2015. "Why Do Charter Schools Fail? An Analysis Of Charter School Survival In New Jersey," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(2), pages 300-314, April.
    7. Imberman, Scott A., 2011. "The effect of charter schools on achievement and behavior of public school students," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 850-863.
    8. Ron Zimmer & Brian Gill & Jonathon Attridge & Kaitlin Obenauf, 2014. "Charter School Authorizers and Student Achievement," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, pages 59-85.
    9. Christina Clark Tuttle & Bing-ru Teh & Ira Nichols-Barrer & Brian P. Gill & Philip Gleason, 2010. "Student Characteristics and Achievement in 22 KIPP Middle Schools," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 69064a347d534ffa8947d7b6e, Mathematica Policy Research.
    10. de Haan, Monique & Leuven, Edwin & Oosterbeek, Hessel, 2011. "Scale Economies Can Offset the Benefits of Competition: Evidence from a School Consolidation Reform in a Universal Voucher System," IZA Discussion Papers 5528, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Bing-ru Teh & Moria McCullough & Brian P. Gill, 2010. "Student Achievement in New York City Middle Schools Affiliated with Achievement First and Uncommon Schools," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 9b7646f5c8ae4067840b186c5, Mathematica Policy Research.
    12. Chakrabarti, Rajashri & Roy, Joydeep, 2016. "Do charter schools crowd out private school enrollment? Evidence from Michigan," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 88-103.
    13. Margaret Brehm & Scott A. Imberman & Michael Naretta, 2017. "Capitalization of Charter Schools into Residential Property Values," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, pages 1-27.
    14. Carruthers, Celeste K., 2012. "New schools, new students, new teachers: Evaluating the effectiveness of charter schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 280-292.
    15. repec:mpr:mprres:6673 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Philip Gleason & Melissa Clark & Christina Clark Tuttle & Emily Dwoyer, 2010. "The Evaluation of Charter School Impacts," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 3066da11915a4b04a77b38848, Mathematica Policy Research.
    17. Jackson, C. Kirabo, 2012. "School competition and teacher labor markets: Evidence from charter school entry in North Carolina," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 431-448.
    18. Gentile, Elisabetta & Imberman, Scott A., 2012. "Dressed for success? The effect of school uniforms on student achievement and behavior," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 1-17.
    19. Joshua M. Cowen & Marcus A. Winters, 2013. "Do Charters Retain Teachers Differently? Evidence from Elementary Schools in Florida," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, pages 14-42.
    20. Ni, Yongmei & Rorrer, Andrea K., 2012. "Twice considered: Charter schools and student achievement in Utah," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 835-849.
    21. Dennis Epple & Richard Romano & Ron Zimmer, 2015. "Charter Schools: A Survey of Research on Their Characteristics and Effectiveness," NBER Working Papers 21256, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Heers, Marieke & Van Klaveren, Chris & Groot, Wim & van den Brink, Henriëtte Maassen, 2014. "The impact of community schools on student dropout in pre-vocational education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 105-119.
    23. repec:mpr:mprres:6698 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. repec:mpr:mprres:6676 is not listed on IDEAS
    25. Margaret Brehm & Scott A. Imberman & Michael Naretta, 2017. "Capitalization of Charter Schools into Residential Property Values," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, pages 1-27.

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