By Steve Thomas - 08/10/2012

By Steve Thomas -

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Understanding Charter Schools: Research Note #1

Charter schools have been in the headlines repeatedly this year – much of the time as critics point out their failures and faults. Our Research Note by researcher Steve Thomas examines high quality research on the schools from overseas, and finds they might have more potential than the critics claim.

Read the Research Note here:
Understanding Charter Schools: Can charter schools improve the achievement of disadvantaged pupils?
Background Research Note: How to read research about charter schools’ impacts on pupils’ achievement

When the Government announced that it would be introducing charter schools—a kind of self-governing state school with more independence than regular state schools—to New Zealand, it specified that their primary objective would be to help turn around New Zealand’s persistent problem with the underachievement of its poorest performing school pupils. Many of these poorly performing pupils are members of what may be considered to be disadvantaged populations, with those from low-income groups, M?ori and Pasifika children overrepresented.

As the Government moves ahead with what it has renamed “Partnership Schools,” or Kura Hourua, it is important for New Zealanders to ask whether, and to what extent, charter schools can make a positive difference to the educational achievement of specific groups of pupils who consistently underperform.

Read the other Research Notes in our Understanding Charter Schools Series: 

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