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

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  • Scott Imberman

    () (Department of Economics, University of Houston)

Abstract

Using a long panel with broad grade coverage, I assess how charter schools af fect test scores, attendance, and discipline in order to establish whether these schools affect cognitive and non-cognitive skill formation. Schools that begin as charters generate large improvements in discipline and attendance but not test scores, with the exception of math scores in middle schools. I interpret this as re ecting improvements in non-cognitive skills but not cognitive skills. These improvements do not persist if students return to regular pub- lic schools. Charters that convert from regular public schools have little impact on cognitive or non-cognitive skill formation. These results are robust to potential bias from selection off of pre-charter trends, attrition and persistence.

Suggested Citation

  • Scott Imberman, 2008. "Achievement and Behavior in Charter Schools: Drawing a More Complete Picture," Working Papers 2009-01, Department of Economics, University of Houston.
  • Handle: RePEc:hou:wpaper:2009-01
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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, vol. 91(5-6), pages 823-848, June.
    2. 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.
    3. 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, vol. 1(1), pages 91-136.
    4. 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.
    5. Tim R. Sass, 2006. "Charter Schools and Student Achievement in Florida," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 1(1), pages 91-122, January.
    6. Epple, D. & Romano, R. & Zimmer, R., 2016. "Charter Schools," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    7. 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.
    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.
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