External Author Name: 
Matthew Walsh

June 2009

KidsOhio has produced a timely report that examines urban public charter schools and the public district schools in Ohio's eight largest cities. By evaluating data from the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), the study finds that the Big Eight and public charters have similar demographic make-ups. Specifically, the proportions of economically disadvantaged students, those with special education needs, and minorities are remarkably parallel. 

KidsOhio studied the state's value-added numbers, which gauge student progress and are available for grades four through eight. After analyzing 2,688 Ohio public schools, they conclude that by including value-added data, the Big Eight schools and public charters are improving. In fact, these schools tend to not achieve high student performance scores but they rank in the middle of the pack when the focus shifts to value added from one year to the next. The study demonstrates the importance of focusing on yearly progress as well as simple student test scores when evaluating schools. Read the report here.

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