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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

    as
    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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    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. Christina Clark Tuttle & Bing-ru Teh & Ira Nichols-Barrer & Brian P. Gill & Philip Gleason, "undated". "Student Characteristics and Achievement in 22 KIPP Middle Schools," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 69064a347d534ffa8947d7b6e, Mathematica Policy Research.
    3. Jackson, C. Kirabo, 2012. "School competition and teacher labor markets: Evidence from charter school entry in North Carolina," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(5), pages 431-448.
    4. Philip Gleason & Melissa Clark & Christina Clark Tuttle & Emily Dwoyer, "undated". "The Evaluation of Charter School Impacts," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 3066da11915a4b04a77b38848, Mathematica Policy Research.
    5. 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.
    6. repec:mpr:mprres:6698 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:mpr:mprres:6676 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. 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.
    9. Figlio, D. & Karbownik, K. & Salvanes, K.G., 2016. "Education Research and Administrative Data," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    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. Imberman, Scott A., 2011. "The effect of charter schools on achievement and behavior of public school students," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 850-863.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. Joshua M. Cowen & Marcus A. Winters, 2013. "Do Charters Retain Teachers Differently? Evidence from Elementary Schools in Florida," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 8(1), pages 14-42, January.
    16. 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.
    17. 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.
    18. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:62:y:2018:i:c:p:91-103 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Margaret Brehm & Scott A. Imberman & Michael Naretta, 2017. "Capitalization of Charter Schools into Residential Property Values," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 12(1), pages 1-27, Winter.
    20. 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.
    21. 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.
    22. Lovenheim, Michael F. & Walsh, Patrick, 2018. "Does choice increase information? Evidence from online school search behavior," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 91-103.
    23. 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.
    24. repec:mpr:mprres:6673 is not listed on IDEAS
    25. Ron Zimmer & Brian Gill & Jonathon Attridge & Kaitlin Obenauf, 2014. "Charter School Authorizers and Student Achievement," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 9(1), pages 59-85, January.

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