Public charter schools, interdistrict magnet schools, and the Open Choice program are collectively called Choice programs. One of their key missions is to improve educational outcomes of historically underperforming students from Connecticut’s urban public schools.
This analysis examines the academic growth and outcome performance based on the Connecticut Mastery Tests (CMT) for Choice program attendees from Connecticut’s four largest cities—Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, and Waterbury—over a two-year period (2010 to 2012).
Results for each Choice program group and its respective quasi-control groups were tracked and compared longitudinally for the same students in two grade cohorts: 1.Grade 3 in 2010 to Grade 5 in 20122.Grade 6 in 2010 to Grade 8 in 2012The use of longitudinal data allows us to ascribe academic performance gains over time to the educational interventions that have taken place; additionally, comparing gains achieved by the Choice program groups to their respective quasi-control groups enables us to control for gains that might have occurred naturally due to student maturation.
In the Grades 3 to 5 cohort, the analysis reveals statistically meaningful gains at or above the CMT Proficient level in interdistrict magnet schools operated by regional educational service centers (RESCs) and for the Open Choice program, and nearly statistically meaningful gains at or above the CMT Goal level for the RESC-operated interdistrict magnet schools.
In the Grades 6 to 8 cohort, public charter schools alone showed statistically meaningful gains at or above Proficient and Goal levels on the CMT.