As someone who has professionally analyzed charter school student achievement, I found the state’s conclusions that charter schools do better to be as faulty as concluding that basketball makes its players taller.
Students who attend charter schools have higher scores because those schools spend millions attracting students who score higher on tests. Research has consistently shown that when initial achievement is taken into account, students in charter schools perform no better than students in traditional schools.
As for reducing achievement gaps, student characteristics have much greater impact than the school. Lower achievement gaps are almost certainly due to the greater motivation of students who exercise choice — whatever that choice may be.
Steven M. Urdegar, Plantation
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Miami Herald