Is DC PCSB the Best Charter Authorizer in the Nation?


A strong argument could be made. The case for the DC Public Charter School Board would look something like this:

1. There are many authorizers, working in cities such as Boston, Newark, and New Orleans, that have created charter sectors with strong effect sizes.

2. However, there are few authorizers that inherited a weak charter sector (due in part to poor district authorizing), and then turned the sector around to the point where the sector now achieves ~.1 effect sizes when compared to the traditional sector.

3. PCSB did exactly this.

4. And they did it at scale: achieving nearly 50% market share in a major urban area.

If you want to learn more, Dell just did a case study on PCSB. You can read about it here.

One last note: the following table was also in the report:

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 8.21.19 AM

This data is from 2012-13, so not sure how things have changed, but I was surprised to see that only 61% of district students are eligible for free and reduced lunch. In the aggregate, DCPS is socioeconomically diverse district.

My guess is that this, masks three distinct subgroups: schools with very high free and reduced lunch rates, schools with mixed socioeconomic rates, and schools that primarily serve the wealthy.

In many ways, each of these subgroups is probably a district unto itself.

I’d be curious to see DCPS performance broken out by schools with below 35% FRL; 35-75% FRL; and 76%+FRL.

Does anyone have this data?

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