Study finds little difference in achievement between independent charters and MPS
By Becky Vevea of the Journal Sentinel Dec. 16, 2010
The test scores of students at independent charter schools in Milwaukee and those of MPS students are relatively equal in the areas of reading and math, a study released Thursday says.
The report, released by the School Choice Demonstration Project conducted by researchers at the University of Wisconsin and the University of Arkansas, compared the 2006-2007 reading and math scores of 2,295 students attending 10 of the 14 independent charter schools in grades 3-8 to a carefully matched sample of 2,295 students from MPS.
When controlling for factors such as switching schools, the scores from students at independent charter schools score the same in reading and math as their counterparts in MPS.
The study also noted that more students in MPS switch schools, which was found to have a negative impact on student achievement gains.
This report is the first of three reports analyzing academic achievement between charter and MPS schools. Milwaukee is one of few cities with both district-run and independent charters. This study only looks at independent charters, such as those run by UW-Milwaukee and the City of Milwaukee.
The researchers also released a third report analyzing taxpayer savings from the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program. They found the net fiscal benefits of the voucher program continue to grow as a result of legislative efforts to reduce the burden on Milwaukee property taxpayers.