WIlliam G. Schmidt | August 17, 2015
A comprehensive review of the research assessing charter schools as the fastest growing area of school choice reforms has uncovered a need for studies that take a different tack, according to University of Notre Dame sociologist Mark Berends.
Charter schools have gained increasing attention in recent years as school choice laws have made them an alternative to traditional public schools. In the past decade, a number of studies have examined the effects of these schools to assess their impact on student achievement.
Researchers are questioning whether the 6,000 charter schools now operating deliver on the promise of school choice laws to shrink achievement gaps. However, the question demands deeper probes of schools’ qualitative conditions, not merely metrics such as test results, Berends wrote in an article, “Sociology and School Choice: What We Know After Two Decades of Charter Schools,” published in mid-August in the journal Annual Review of Sociology.
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