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Monday, January 21, 2008

Interesting Findings On Charter Schools

While not specifically speaking to cyber charter schools, this looks to be an interesting article.
Disparities in charter school resources - the influence of state policy and community

Authors: Edward Bodine a; Bruce Fuller a; María-Fernanda González a; Luis Huerta b; Sandra Naughton a; Sandra Park a; Laik Woon Teh a

Affiliations:
a University of California, Berkeley; b Teachers College, Columbia University

DOI
: 10.1080/02680930701625262

Published in
: Journal of Education Policy, Volume 23, Issue 1 - January 2008 , pages 1 - 33

Abstract: Recent findings show that students attending charter schools in the United States achieve at comparable or lower levels to those enrolled in regular public schools, perhaps due to uneven quality and disparities in the levels of resources acquired by charter schools. But little is known as to what state and local factors contribute to disparate levels of resources in the charter school sector. This article examines how local context, the charter school's organizational form, and state policies may influence material and human resources obtained by charter schools and their capacity to innovate. We find marked differences among charter schools situated in different US states in terms of teacher qualities, student-staff ratios, length of the school day, and the propensity to unionize, drawing on data from the US Schools and Staffing Survey for the 1999/2000 school year. Charter schools rely less on uncredentialed teachers in states that more tightly regulate the sector, and state spending is associated with more equal teacher salaries among charter schools within states. But the lion's share of variance in charter school resources is attributable to highly variable local contexts, not to state-level factors, especially the kinds of students served and the school's organizational form. Charter schools serving predominately black students rely on less experienced teachers who are more likely to be uncredentialed; their teachers also report more demanding working conditions and lower levels of efficacy, compared with charter teachers working in white schools. Conversion charter schools pay staff over $5100 more annually and rely much less on uncredentialed and part-time teachers than do start-up schools. We examine implications for the reproduction of unequal student achievement within the charter school sector.
This just showed up in my inbox, so I haven't had a chance to read it myself. But if you do, let me know what you think.

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