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MIT Study Suggests Special Ed Students, ELL Achieve More in Charter Schools

Study Suggests Special Ed Students, ELL Achieve More in Charter Schools

A study conducted by Massachusetts Institute of Technology researcher Elizabeth Setren discussed findings that special education students and English Language Learners in Boston charter schools outperformed their peers in public schools.

The study found that, in Boston charter schools, 141 percent more special education students (or 1.41 times) and 142 percent more English language learners (or 1.42 times) scored "advanced" or "proficient" on MCAS mathematics tests than their peers in district schools, said WWLP.com.

On the MCAS English exams, rates of advanced and proficient scores at charter schools were 137 percent higher for special education students (or 1.37 times) and 136 percent higher (or 1.36 times) for English language learners.

In addition to outperforming on tests, the study also found that Boston’s special education students were more likely to reach academic milestones through charter school education.

"Special education students attending charter schools are ... more likely to meet the math and English proficiency requirement for high school graduation, become eligible for a state merit scholarship, take an Advanced Placement exam and score higher on the SAT,” according to the article.

Setren says that while the study results are interesting, more intensive research needs to be done to determine what makes a charter school better serve varied learners’ needs.

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

12/9/2015

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