** Also posted here on Valerie Strauss' Answer Sheet in the Washington Post.
Two weeks ago, researchers from Mathematica dropped a bomb on the education policy community. It didn’t go off.
The report (prepared for the Institute for Education Sciences, a division of the USDOE) includes students in 36 charter schools throughout 15 states. The central conclusion: the vast majority of charter students does no better or worse than their regular public counterparts in math and reading scores (or on most of the other 35 outcomes examined). On the other hand, charter parents and students are more satisfied with their schools, and charters are more effective boosting scores of lower-income students.