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A Quick Look At The DC Charter School Rating System

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You write: This does not necessarily mean these DC charter ratings are “better” or more fair than their counterparts elsewhere. Matt: Why not better? Seems like they're doing precisely what you've always advised rating systems to do.

Fair point. My opinion (and that's all it is) depends on the manner in which the ratings are used. For example, if the ratings are used as the basis for certain interventions (extra resources targeted at struggling students) or by parents choosing schools, there is a strong case for significant reliance on absolute performance. If, on the other hand, the ratings are the basis for high stakes decisions (e.g., closure) or are used in the public discourse as measures of school effectiveness, then yes, in my view, the DC system is modestly better than many of its counterparts elsewhere. (And I say modestly better because 40 percent absolute performance is still quite high in my opinion, the MGPs are associated with student characteristics, and one of the "leading indicators" measures -- attendance -- might also be classified as a kind of non-test status measure.) Thanks for the comment. MD

Thanks for reply. Another question. Absolute scores for resources, I could see that. But why are absolute scores helpful for parents? Maybe I'm being a bad parent, but I haven't felt need to move from school with mediocre scores to upscale suburb in order to get my kid in school with high absolute scores, precisely b/c they don't seem to be adding more value. Should I?

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