Comparisons Between High-performing and Low-performing Charter Schools
This study was conducted to explore the common elements of high performing charter schools that are not present in low performing charter schools. Schools were selected for the study based on a comparison of the performance of their students on state assessments to the local public school district students. Six charter schools from the Midwest states of Indiana, Illinois and Michigan were studied with a focus on the role of the principal, the school mission, teacher development, programming and curriculum and instructional philosophies. One major finding was supported: a mission based on high academic achievement for every student that was reflected in the daily operations of the school. This finding was evidenced in three ways: data based decision making that was the result of collaboration between administration and teachers; high expectations for instructional practices and accountability for teachers enforced by the principal; and dearly defined behavior expectations for students, resulting in a calm learning environment.
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