The impact of charter school attendance on student performance Academic Article uri icon


  • We employ a panel of individual student data on math and reading test performance for five cohorts of students in Texas to study the impact of charter school attendance. We control for school mobility effects and distinguish movement to a charter school from movement within and between traditional public school districts. We find students experience poor test score growth in their initial year in a charter school, but that this is followed by recovery in the subsequent years. Failure to account for this pattern may lead to potentially misleading estimates of the impact of charter attendance on student achievement. Students who remain in charters largely recover from the initial disruption within approximately 3years, and there is weak evidence that there may be overall gains from charter attendance within this period. Furthermore, students who return to traditional public schools after just 1 or 2years in a charter do not appear to suffer a lasting negative impact despite their poor average performance in their first year of charter attendance. 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Public Economics

altmetric score

  • 6

author list (cited authors)

  • Booker, K., Gilpatric, S. M., Gronberg, T., & Jansen, D.

citation count

  • 75

complete list of authors

  • Booker, Kevin||Gilpatric, Scott M||Gronberg, Timothy||Jansen, Dennis

publication date

  • January 2007