Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Comparison of Demographic Profiles and Academic Outcomes of Charter Schools and Traditional Public Schools in Fresno, Kings, Madera, and Tulare Counties
by González, Edward C., Ed.D., California State University, Fresno, 2020, 221; 28000795
Abstract (Summary)

This study compared charter schools and traditional public schools in Fresno, Kings, Madera, and Tulare counties to determine whether there were meaningful differences in demographics and academic outcomes between the two types of public schools. It also compared the demographics and academics of the different types of charter schools. School choice advocates have posited that charter schools, freed from the bureaucracy and regulation of traditional public schools, would use their autonomy to become more innovative and improve academic outcomes for their students (Fryer, 2012; Stein, 2015). It was further argued that charter schools would untether poor and minority students from failing neighborhood schools, and result in more integrated schools (Fryer, 2012). This quantitative study examined differences between student subgroups and used Cohen’s h to determine effect size—small, medium, or large. This statistical method was used to determine if any differences between the two types of public schools were meaningful, or practically significant. Student demographics were identified by race/ethnicity, English Language Acquisition Status (ELAS), and socio-economic status (SES). Academics were measured by the percent of students who met or exceeded the standards in English Language Arts (ELA) and Math on the 2018/19 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP). Findings were that charter schools differed meaningfully from traditional public schools in student demographics, with fewer poor, minority, and non-fluent students. Academically, however, there was no meaningful difference between charters and traditional public schools. Viewed through the lens of critical race theory and whiteness studies, the implications are that charter school advocates may have a less altruistic purpose than purported (Chapman & Donnor, 2015; Henry, 2019). A comparison of the 12 types of charter school configurations further found that charter schools differed meaningfully in demographics and academic outcomes depending on their origination (start-up or conversion), their affiliation (dependent or independent) with a local district, and their curriculum delivery method (site-based, online, or blended)..

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hernández, Ignacio
Commitee: Yukhymenko, Mariya, Mendoza, Cecilia
School: California State University, Fresno
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 81/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Demography
Keywords: Charter school academics, Charter school demographics, Charter schools, Online charter schools
Publication Number: 28000795
ISBN: 9798641504834
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