IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Impact of Charter School Attendance on Student Achievement in Michigan

Listed author(s):

Proponents of school reform have argued that charter schools and vouchers can provide adequate market pressure to improve the performance of traditional public schools. While the number of charter schools and student enrollment have burgeoned, relatively little attention has been paid to their effects on student achievement. Proponents of charter schools suggest a direct effect on student achievement through the restructuring of teaching and learning processes and an indirect effect through peer effects on learning and through the market forces of competition. Of course, competitive pressures may result in higher achievement in traditional public schools as well. This paper focuses on student achievement in charter schools in Michigan. The analyses presented in the paper suggest that students attending charter schools in Michigan are not reaching the same levels of achievement as students in traditional public schools in the same districts. In order to analyze the effectiveness of charter schools relative to their traditional public school counterparts, we examine the difference in student outcomes, as measured by the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP). The State makes available the MEAP results each year along with limited demographic data that are self-reported by students when they take the tests. We rely mainly on this data set together with additional building- and district- level data that are supplied by local districts and made available on the Michigan Department of Education's (MDE's) website. Five years of MEAP scores from 1996/97 through 200/01 for individual fourth and fifth grade students are analyzed. By pairing charter schools with their "host" (meaning geographically co-located) districts, we attempt to create the local "market" for educational services in which both the charter schools and the public school districts compete. Several models of the difference between test score levels of students attending charter schools versus those from traditional public schools are estimated. In virtually all specifications, each of which controls for student, building, and district characteristics, students attending charter schools have lower test scores than students in traditional public schools. The magnitudes of the results vary by grade, year, and subject matter, but are generally on the order of 3 10 percent. We argue that our estimates of the negative differentials may be biased toward zero because we have not controlled for selection bias.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: This material is copyrighted. Permission is required to reproduce any or all parts.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Paper provided by W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in its series Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles with number 02-80.

in new window

Date of creation: Apr 2002
Handle: RePEc:upj:weupjo:02-80
Contact details of provider: Postal:
300 S. Westnedge Ave. Kalamazoo, MI 49007 USA

Phone: 1-269-343-5541
Fax: 1-269-343-7310
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

in new window

  1. Randall W. Eberts & Kevin Hollenbeck, 2001. "An Examination of Student Achievement in Michigan Charter Schools," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 01-68, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:upj:weupjo:02-80. 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 you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.