A new Stanford University study of 1.8 million students at 6,200 charter schools across the country concludes that students at charters – public schools that operate independently and without union contracts – clearly outperform traditional public schools in math and reading.
The Stanford study is the third assessment of charters. The first study was conducted in 2009 and found that a majority of charter school students performed either worse or no better than public schools. (This was likely due to a selection bias of families moving kids to charters because they were falling behind in public.) The second study in 2013 found improvement, but nothing dramatic.
But now charters have clearly found a winning education formula and outperformed public school students.
The latest study found in the words of New York magazine “a large number of charter schools have developed scalable models that can allow Black and Latino students in cities with awful neighborhood schools to get the same education as white kids in suburbs enjoy.” By contrast, affirmative action has been a “far less effective way to compensate for the deeper problem that American schools produce scandalously few high-achieving Black and Latino graduates.”
Another loud and clear message of the study is that teachers unions are the enemy of better education for kids. Most charters are liberated from union influences.