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INGRID JACQUES

Editor’s Note: Charter schools do get results

Ingrid Jacques
The Detroit News

It’s hard to keep track of all the reports lately on the performance of Michigan charter schools. The dueling studies often contradict one another as some seek to tear down the state’s growing network of these alternative public schools while others build up charters.

But a recent study from Stanford University deserves close attention. The university’s well-respected Center for Research on Education Outcomes analyzed the performance of charters in 41 urban areas around the country, including Detroit.

Detroit is unique in that it is second only behind New Orleans for the percentage of its students in charter schools. And consistent with previous research from Stanford, this report found that students in Detroit charter schools are making more gains in math and reading than their demographically similar counterparts in the city’s other public schools.

The study found that on average students in Detroit charter schools gain more than two months more learning in a year than their traditional public school peers.

That’s huge, and the kind of progress that education reform advocates must consider.