Putting Education Reform To The Test

National Study Says Florida District School Students Learn More In Reading Than Charter School Students

A new study finds Florida district school students learn more in reading than charter school students.

Ken Wilcox / flickr

A new study finds Florida district school students learn more in reading than charter school students.

Seven days learning.

That’s how much more Florida’s traditional public school students learned in reading compared to students in charter schools, according to a new national study of charter school performance.

In math, Florida charter school students were even with their traditional public school peers.

The Center for Research on Educational Outcomes at Stanford University compared the performance of charter and district school students in 25 states, Washington, D.C. and New York City, comprising about 95 percent of students attending charter schools. In Florida, the report compared students in third through tenth grades.

The study updates a landmark 2009 review of charter school performance which concluded district schools outperformed charter schools.

This time, the average charter school students gained eight additional days of reading reading than district school students while math gains were even.

The gains varied wildly by state. In the District of Columbia charter school students gained an additional 72 days worth of learning in reading — that’s more than 14 weeks. While Nevada charter school students lost 108 days of learning in reading. The report found similar variances for math.

How much learning those students gain or lose depends on the quality of the state’s education system.

A 2012 Florida Department of Education review found charter school students outperformed district school students on 55 of 65 measurements.

You can check out the state-by-state comparisons here (head for table 14).

For more on the study, check out the Associated Press, Education Week and The Christian Science Monitor.


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