Explaining Charter School Effectiveness
Estimates using admissions lotteries suggest that urban charter schools boost student achievement, while charter schools in other settings do not. We explore student-level and school-level explanations for these differences using a large sample of Massachusetts charter schools. Our results show that urban charter schools boost achievement well beyond ambient non-charter levels (that is, the average achievement level for urban non-charter students), and beyond non-urban achievement in math. Student demographics explain some of these gains since urban charters are most effective for non-whites and low-baseline achievers. At the same time, non-urban charter schools are uniformly ineffective. Our estimates also reveal important school-level heterogeneity in the urban charter sample. A non-lottery analysis suggests that urban schools with binding, well-documented admissions lotteries generate larger score gains than under-subscribed urban charter schools with poor lottery records. We link the magnitude of charter impacts to distinctive pedagogical features of urban charters such as the length of the school day and school philosophy. The relative effectiveness of urban lottery-sample charters is accounted for by over-subscribed urban schools' embrace of the No Excuses approach to education.
|Date of creation:||Aug 2011|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as 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.|
|Note:||CH ED LS PE|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Joshua Angrist & Susan Dynarski & Thomas J. Kane & Parag Pathak, 2009.
"Accountability and Flexibility in Public Schools: Evidence from Boston's Charters and Pilots,"
NBER Working Papers
15549, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Atila Abdulkadiroğlu & Joshua D. Angrist & Susan M. Dynarski & Thomas J. Kane & Parag A. Pathak, 2011. "Accountability and Flexibility in Public Schools: Evidence from Boston's Charters And Pilots," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(2), pages 699-748.
- Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2000.
"Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools,"
NBER Working Papers
7831, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2005. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 151-184, February.
- Abadie, Alberto, 2003. "Semiparametric instrumental variable estimation of treatment response models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 113(2), pages 231-263, April.
- Roland G. Fryer, Jr, 2011. "Injecting Successful Charter School Strategies into Traditional Public Schools: A Field Experiment in Houston," NBER Working Papers 17494, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Angrist, Joshua & Dynarski, Susan & Kane, Thomas J. & Pathak, Parag A. & Walters, Christopher R., 2011.
"Who Benefits from KIPP?,"
IZA Discussion Papers
5690, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Vilsa E. Curto & Roland G. Fryer, Jr., 2011. "Estimating the Returns to Urban Boarding Schools: Evidence from SEED," NBER Working Papers 16746, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Angrist, Joshua & Pathak, Parag A. & Walters, Christopher R., 2012.
"Explaining Charter School Effectiveness,"
IZA Discussion Papers
6525, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Jesse M. Rothstein, 2006. "Good Principals or Good Peers? Parental Valuation of School Characteristics, Tiebout Equilibrium, and the Incentive Effects of Competition among Jurisdictions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1333-1350, September.
- 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.
- Scott Imberman, 2008. "Achievement and Behavior in Charter Schools: Drawing a More Complete Picture," Working Papers 2009-01, Department of Economics, University of Houston.
- Will Dobbie & Roland G. Fryer, Jr, 2011. "Getting Beneath the Veil of Effective Schools: Evidence from New York City," NBER Working Papers 17632, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Joshua D. Angrist & Susan M. Dynarski & Thomas J. Kane & Parag A. Pathak & Christopher R. Walters, 2010. "Inputs and Impacts in Charter Schools: KIPP Lynn," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 239-43, May.
This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
- Explaining Charter School Effectiveness (AEJ:AE 2013) in ReplicationWiki
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17332. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.