Congratulations to Dr. Sherrie Reed and Dr. Heather Rose, both of the University of California – Davis, for winning the 2018 International School Choice & Reform Conference Thomas B. Fordham Institute Best Paper Prize. Their prize-winning paper is titled, “Lessons in Charter School Accountability: Evidence from California.”

The paper describes the multiple accountability systems faced by public charter schools in California and tests the extent to which different systems identify similar sets of charter schools that should be closed for poor performance. It finds “substantial overlap between the multiple frameworks, including the identification of the same low-performing charter schools.”

The authors report that the identification of low-performing public charter schools was unreliable when using test score test score growth, when schools were smaller, and when schools served a larger concentration of socioeconomically disadvantaged students. They urge policy makers to focus “on encouraging clarity and enforcement of existing accountability mechanisms rather than development of new frameworks.”

The study will be published in the fall, 2018 issue of the Journal of School Choice.