Tuesday, February 3, 2015

New WWC Quick Review: Study of The Equity Project Charter School

What is the study about?

This study examined the impacts of The Equity Project (TEP) Charter School on the academic outcomes of fifth- through eighth-grade students attending the school during the 2009–10 to 2012–13 school years. The TEP model emphasizes teacher recruitment, professional development, and teacher accountability, and seeks to recruit high quality teachers by offering substantially higher compensation than typically offered by the New York City Department of Education. The base pay for teachers at the time of the study was $125,000, which was about two-thirds higher than the average pay of teachers in neighboring schools. Teachers also were eligible for bonuses up to $25,000, based on school performance. TEP underwrites higher teacher pay by having fewer administrators and larger class sizes. The school served students in New York City's Washington Heights neighborhood.

What did the study report?

The study authors reported that The Equity Project Charter School increased students' test scores during the 2012–13 school year in math, English/language arts, and science. However, during the 2009–10 and 2010–11 school years, The Equity Project Charter School negatively impacted students' test scores in math and English/language arts.

How does the WWC rate this study?

This study used a quasi-experimental design and demonstrated baseline equivalence. As such, the study meets WWC group design standards with reservations. A more thorough review (forthcoming) will report more fully on the study's results.

Furgeson, J., McCullough, M., Wolfendale, C., & Gill, B. (2014). The Equity Project Charter School: Impacts on student achievement. Cambridge, MA: Mathematica Policy Research.

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