Fryer and Dobbie: Texas Charter Schools Have No Effect on Test Scores and a Negative Effect on Earnings

Diane Ravitch's blog

This is a favorite of mine. Roland Fryer is an economist at Harvard whose work has been heavily subsidized by Eli Broad and Bill Gates. He is a great believer in incentives and choice.

Thus, it was quite surprising to read this study (which I wrote about here).

This is the key finding.

We estimate the impact of charter schools on early-life labor market outcomes using administrative data from Texas. We find that, at the mean, charter schools have no impact on test scores and a negative impact on earnings. No Excuses charter schools increase test scores and four-year college enrollment, but have a small and statistically insignificant impact on earnings, while other types of charter schools decrease test scores, four-year college enrollment, and earn- ings. Moving to school-level estimates, we find that charter schools that decrease test scores also tend to decrease earnings, while charter schools that…

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