Abt Associates: Bold thinkers driving real-world impact
Recent reforms in education emphasize the use of charter schools as a viable strategy to improve student achievement. It is, therefore, important to understand which types of charter schools are effective. I study this question utilizing longitudinal data covering all public school students in the large urban school district of Milwaukee which has a long history of charter schools. Using student fixed effects to deal with self-selection, I find that charter schools, on average, have no significant effect on student achievement. However, I show that this average effect masks important heterogeneity in the effectiveness of charter schools across types of charter schools. Charter schools with higher autonomy from the district in terms of financial budget, academic program, and hiring decisions, are effective. I show that students in these charter schools would read at a grade
Abt Associates is a mission-driven, global leader in research, evaluation and program implementation in the fields of health, social and environmental policy, and international development. Known for its rigorous approach to solving complex challenges, Abt Associates is regularly ranked as one of the top 20 global research firms and one of the top 40 international development innovators. The company has multiple offices in the U.S. and program offices in more than 40 countries.