A new study of charter schools in 16 states, including California, finds that the vast majority of those independent public schools are not doing much better than their traditional counterparts.
The Stanford University study gathered data from 70 percent of the nation’s charter school enrollment. It found that the quality of a charter school education can vary a lot. Lead author Margaret Raymond says that’s a big deal.
Margaret Raymond: "We don’t have the kind of quality control that the initial bargain of flexibility for accountability seemed to expect."
Charter schools receive public money and set their own budgets and curricula. Raymond says the only statewide data for California indicated slightly higher reading improvement and slightly lower math improvement at charter schools compared to traditional schools.
The president of the California Charter Schools Association says his group is taking this issue seriously and is working on ways to improve charter school accountability and quality.