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Thesis/Dissertation Seminars

Dissertation Defense: A Comparison of Student Achievement in Florida Charter Schools with Not-For-Profit and For-Profit Management Models

ED 306
February 5, 2018 @ 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

Announcing the Final Examination of Maurice S. Kaprow for the degree of Doctor of Education

This study compared student achievement in Florida charter schools by investigating differences in those managed by for profit and not-for-profit entities in all 530 charter schools that reported results on the 2016 Florida Standards Assessments in grades four, eight, and ten in English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics. Using a two-way analysis of covariance, this investigation found statistically significant achievement differences only in tenth grade ELA when using poverty as a moderator variable and eighth grade mathematics using both school cohort size and poverty as moderator variables. Also, the covariates of percentage of minority students, percentage of disabled students, and percentage of English language learners accounted for some of the variance in achievement results. These findings are commensurate with the extant literature where prior similar studies found mixed results between traditional public schools and charter schools and between not-for-profit and for-profit charter schools.

Questions are raised by this research regarding the public funding of for-profit or proprietary charter schools if they do not routinely achieve superior results to traditional public schools. Implications for future research both building on this study and investigating other aspects of charter school performance include conducting similar studies on a recurring basis to better evaluate charter school performance, closer study on the role the covariates (minority status, disability status, and English language learner status) has on charter school student achievement, and a comparison of Florida's charter schools with Florida's traditional public schools.

Committee in charge: Jerry Johnson (Chair), Gordon L. Baldwin, Kenneth Murray, Jan McGee