In the polarizing debate over charter schools, advocates insist charters are a beneficial alternative that especially helps economically disadvantaged students, while critics doubt these touted achievements. This new book, published by the Teachers College Press and the Economic Policy Institute, sheds needed light on this debate by analyzing current research and data to show how charter schools perform compared to regular public schools. The Charter School Dust-Up: Examining the Evidence on Enrollment and Achievement looks at national data and studies in 13 states to investigate charter school enrollment and achievement.
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Copious, detailed statistics and related material represented in the book's many tables finds that despite the claims of charter schools' advocates and some success stories, there is no meaningful difference between charter schools and public schools. '[C]harter schools are not, and likely will not be, able to play a large role in reforming public education as a whole.' The four authors are all academics in the overlapping areas of economics and education belonging to the Institute publishing this timely study that is associated with Teachers College, Columbia U. The Bush Administration's program 'No Child Left Behind' is scrutinized in one chapter in light of the findings recorded here. Recommendations for more relevant standards for measuring and judging the performance of students and schools are put forth as well mostly in appendices. An up-to-date, sound, and with respect to some central education questions, definitive report for educators, administrators, and policy makers.