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Michigan’s charter schools outperforming public schools, Stanford University study declares

MLIVE.COM 2 Hours Ago

by Brian Smith

LANSING — An analysis of charter schools nationwide by Stanford University researchers has found that Michigan charter schools are more successful than public schools in teaching reading and mathematics.

The report, issued by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford, is a follow-up to a 2009 report which analyzed charter school performance in 16 states. The new report adds 11 additional states, including Michigan.

Performance of charter schools was analyzed by comparing students in the schools to statistically similar public-school students over a three-year period, according to the report. The analysis was designed to create “virtual students” from public-school data to allow for as direct a comparison to charter school performance as possible, and researchers were able to create matches for approximately 83 percent of Michigan charter school students.

In Michigan, students in charter schools showed gains in reading and math equivalent to an extra 43 days of instruction in each subject, according to the report. Michigan was one of 16 states where statistics indicated better learning for charter school students in reading, and one of 12 states where better mathematics learning was indicated.

More detailed reports on each of the 27 states in the study will be released over the summer. The full report is available from the Center for Research on Educational Outcomes website.

Brian Smith is the statewide education and courts reporter for MLive. Email him at bsmith11@mlive.com or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

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