Is Charter School Competition in California Improving the Performance of Traditional Public Schools?

by Richard Buddin, Ron Zimmer

Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.2 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

This research examines the effects of charter schools on traditional public schools. A premise of charter school initiatives has been that these schools have direct benefits for students attending these schools and indirect benefits for other students by creating competition for traditional public schools to improve their performance. Using California data, the analysis examines the responses to a survey of principals in a sample of traditional public schools. In addition, the research assesses how charter school competition affects student-level achievement trends in traditional public schools. The survey results showed that public school principals felt little competitive pressure from charters. Similarly, the student achievement analysis showed that charter competition (measured in a variety of ways) was not improving the performance of traditional public schools.

The research described in this report was prepared for the Smith Richardson Foundation and conducted by RAND Education.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation working paper series. RAND working papers are intended to share researchers' latest findings and to solicit informal peer review. They have been approved for circulation by RAND but may not have been formally edited or peer reviewed.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.