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The Relationship Between Student Achievement and Charter High Schools in Washington, DC Open Access

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This study was designed to determine if differences in student achievement existed between traditional public and charter high schools in the District of Columbia. The study examined student outcomes on the standardized state test in reading and math from 2006 to 2010 utilizing descriptive statistics, crosstab analysis, chi-square tests independent t-tests, and analysis of variance (ANOVA). The study considered students' race, special education status, socioeconomic status, and English language learner (ELL) status as well as middle school to high school mobility in examining achievement across the two sectors. The study population included all high schools in the District of Columbia and utilized student test score results.Study findings showed that statistically significant differences existed in student enrollment and achievement between traditional public and charter schools. Students enrolled in charter high schools outperformed their peers in traditional public schools. Black, special education, and students in the low-socioeconomic group who attended charter schools outperformed their traditional public school peers. Hispanic and ELL students attending traditional public schools had higher achievement as compared to their charter school peers. In reading and math, mobility had a positive impact on public middle school students who were not proficient. Mobility had a negative impact on charter middle school students who were proficient in math. The impacts of mobility on all other groups across reading and math varied.

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