Research Note: On Student Growth & the Productivity of New Jersey Charter Schools


New Jersey Education Policy Forum

Bruce D. Baker, Rutgers University, Graduate School of Education

October 31, 2014

PDF: Research Note on Productive Efficiency

In June of 2014, I wrote a brief in which I evaluated New Jersey’s school growth percentile measures to determine whether factors outside the control of local schools or districts are significantly predictive of variation in those growth percentile measures.[1] I found that this was indeed the case. Specifically, I found:

Student Population Characteristics

  1. % free lunch is significantly, negatively associated with growth percentiles for both subjects and both years. That is, schools with higher shares of low income children have significantly lower growth percentiles;
  2. When controlling for low income concentrations, schools with higher shares of English language learners have higher growth percentiles on both tests in both years;
  3. Schools with larger shares of children already at or above proficiency tend to show greater gains on both tests in both…

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Published by schoolfinance101

Bruce Baker is an Professor in the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. From 1997 to 2008 he was a professor at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS. He is lead author with Preston Green (Penn State University) and Craig Richards (Teachers College, Columbia University) of Financing Education Systems, a graduate level textbook on school finance policy published by Merrill/Prentice-Hall. Professor Baker has written a multitude of peer reviewed research articles on state school finance policy, teacher labor markets, school leadership labor markets and higher education finance and policy. His recent work has focused on measuring cost variations associated with schooling contexts and student population characteristics, including ways to better design state school finance policies and local district allocation formulas (including Weighted Student Funding) for better meeting the needs of students. Baker, along with Preston Green of Penn State University are co-authors of the chapter on Conceptions of Equity in the recently released Handbook of Research Education Finance and Policy, and co-authors of the chapter on the Politics of Education Finance in the Handbook of Education Politics and Policy and co-authors of the chapter on School Finance in the Handbook of Education Policy of the American Educational Research Association. Professor Baker has also consulted for state legislatures, boards of education and other organizations on education policy and school finance issues and has testified in state school finance litigation in Kansas, Missouri and Arizona. He is a member of the Think Tank Review Panel, a group of academic researchers who conduct technical reviews of publicly released think tank reports on education policy issues.

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