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Filename AttritionWhitePaper.pdf
Filesize 2 MB
Version 1
Date added January 18, 2017
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Category Charter Schools, Education, School Choice, White Papers

Date: January 18, 2016

By: Cara Stillings Candal and Ken Ardon

This paper uses publicly available DESE data to explore student attrition and other forms of student movement, such as dropouts, within district and charter schools. It is not a direct response to the now dated MTA report, but it does explore the validity of the claim that Massachusetts charter public schools have higher attrition than their district counterparts because these schools “select out” or “push out” weaker students in an effort to produce higher test scores. This report focuses mainly on Boston charter and district schools because Boston has the Commonwealth’s largest concentration of high-performing charter schools in the state. Boston also has the highest demand for charters, with a charter school waitlist of over 10,000 students. The report concludes with recommendations for policymakers and others to better understand and communicate the impacts of student mobility on schools, of which attrition is but one facet.