Congress, the U.S. Department of Education, and major media outlets paid great attention to CREDO’s 2013 Charter School Growth and Replication Study, which showed that, in general, charter schools that started out strong remained strong, while those that struggled to help their students in the early years continued to face difficulties.
CREDO’s studies and reports have had a significant impact on the national debate over education. They have also had a significant impact on individual school districts and state education departments. Concrete actions have occurred in many places, including Louisiana, where the legislature responded to a CREDO evaluation by lifting its cap on charter schools; Ohio, where legislation strengthened accountability measures; Illinois, which doubled the number of charter schools it would allow; Massachusetts, where CREDO demonstrated Boston charter schools’ successes; and Pennsylvania, where state lawmakers paid close attention to CREDO research that revealed dramatic differences between online and brick-and-mortar charter school student outcomes.
“The Department commissioned, at no cost to taxpayers, cutting-edge research by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University on the performance of Pennsylvania cyber charter schools relative to brick-and-mortar counterparts. Based on this research, CREDO urged state leaders to assess and strengthen oversight practices—a charge the Department takes seriously, and that informs the agency’s authorizing activities in the areas of advanced quantitative techniques, charter school management, and educator preparation.” – Pennsylvania Department of Education Official.
Impact Examples not associated with a specific state
CREDO’s 2015 study in coordination with Mathematica Policy Research and the Center on Reinventing Public Education revealed that students of online charter schools had significantly weaker academic performance in math and reading, compared with their counterparts in conventional schools. Subsequently, many states took a hard look at their online charter operators.