Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Co-location Report omits statistical details and background research
A recent report argues that co-locating charter schools with traditional public schools doesn’t harm the achievement of the traditional public school students. But the report leaves out the necessary documentation by which its conclusions could be reasonably assessed, a new review released today explains.
Professor Tina Trujillo of the University of California-Berkeley School of Education, along with Marialena Rivera, a Berkeley doctoral candidate, reviewed the paper for the Think Twice think tank review project of the National Education Policy Center. The NEPC is housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education.
Trujillo and Rivera reviewed The Effect of Co-locations on Student Achievement in NYC Public Schools, written earlier this year by Marcus Winters and published by the Manhattan Institute.
The Effect of Co-locations argues that its data analyses show no statistical impact on traditional public school student achievement in New York City resulting from co-locations of charter schools with traditional public schools. The underlying issue has garnered recent interest as a result of the election of Bill DeBlasio as New York City mayor and the resulting shift away from former mayor Michael Bloomberg’s education policies.
In their review, Trujillo and Rivera write that the Manhattan Institute report omits details about its analysis that would enable readers to evaluate the merits of its methods and its claims. Additionally, they write, the report does not examine existing related research or background information on co-locations. The reviewers also point out the report’s decision to reject any consideration of “important outcomes related to students’ socio-emotional development, safety, health, and broader academic experiences.”
As a consequence of its shortcomings, “The report ultimately serves more as a marketing tool for the continued growth of charter schools in New York City than as a carefully presented research study,” the reviewers conclude. It therefore offers neither policymakers nor educators adequate information to evaluate co-location’s impact on students’ educational experiences and outcomes.