In Ohio, public schools outperform charters
A recently released study from Stanford University finds that schools of choice in the state of Ohio rank below district, traditional public schools when it comes to student performance. When it comes to teaching black students who are below the poverty level, however, the charter schools actually produce higher-achieving marks.
Overall, the Stanford study found that 93 percent of the charter schools in Ohio fall below the 50 percentile achievement for public schools in the state. To put it another way — the charter school students were behind by an average of 14 days in the 180-day school year when compared with district school peers.
The study compared apples to apples — looking at similar students from similar backgrounds when determining how they fared next to each other. In most cases, the charter school students were directly compared to the students at the district school they would have attended otherwise.
The Stanford study is certainly not representative of charter schools throughout the entire country. Each state establishes charter schools (or bans them) based on its own criteria, and Ohio has been called out for its lax charter school authorizer rules in the past. This study is sort of ironic when you consider that the argument FOR charter schools is often that it brings competition to the public schools and makes them perform better. Well, these traditional district schools are performing better than the charters, so did the charters do their job?
If nothing else, this study points out that charter schools are not the answer for every student, or every district. While some students nationwide may benefit from these schools of choice, others may achieve more at their traditional district schools.