This Gates Foundation funded study is encouraging.
(…snip…) The typical teacher in New York with five years’ experience makes between $64,000 and $76,000. The charter school, known as TEP, would pay much more [$125,000 Ed]. But in exchange, teachers, who are not unionized, would accept additional responsibilities, and the school would keep a close eye on their work.
Four years later, students at TEP score better on state tests than similar students elsewhere. The differences were particularly pronounced in math, according to a new study from Mathematica Policy Research. (The study was funded by the Gates Foundation.) After four years at the school, students had learned as much math as they would have in 5.6 years elsewhere:
The gains erased 78 percent of the achievement gap between Hispanic students and whites in the eighth grade.
The results are important in part because TEP also appears to have sidestepped some common concerns about charter schools. They didn’t expel or suspend students out of school in the first four years. There is no evidence that the school encouraged problem students to leave or transfer on their own. And the students who attended were roughly as likely to be low-income, and to have had similar levels of academic achievement before they arrived. They could still differ in other ways — they could have more involved parents, who get them into the charter school lottery, for example — but TEP doesn’t present some of the obvious factors that help explain other charter schools’ success.