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Student Outcomes and Charter Schools in New Mexico


Highlights

  • New Mexico needs state-specific data on students’ performance in charter schools.
  • Abt Associates is leading a two-year randomized controlled study comparing outcomes.
  • Results are expected in the summer of 2021.
The Challenge

New Mexico consistently ranks last or close to last in child welfare and one in 10 students attends a charter school. Many prior studies elsewhere evaluated branded, centrally managed charter schools run by charter management organizations (CMOs). However, New Mexico does not have any CMOs operating schools; the state’s charters are all free-standing and independent. All of this means the findings of previous charter school studies are difficult to apply in New Mexico.

The Approach

Abt Associates is leading a two-year randomized controlled study comparing outcomes for students who were offered admission in New Mexico’s charter schools and those who were not. The study is focusing on New Mexico charter schools offering “dual language immersion,” in which students are taught in two languages. The study also will investigate the effectiveness of the state’s elementary and secondary school charters more broadly.

The Results

In addition to academic achievement and college enrollment specifically, we’ll measure a comprehensive array of student outcomes, including attendance, English learner status, graduation and college persistence. Results are expected in the summer of 2021.