Julian Betts

Professor, Dept. of Economics, University of California, San Diego


Julian R. Betts is professor and former chair of economics at the University of California, San Diego, where he is Executive Director of the San Diego Education Research Alliance (sandera.ucsd.edu). He is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and an adjunct fellow and a Bren fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California.

Dr. Betts has written extensively on the link between student outcomes and measures of school spending, and he has studied the role that school choice, educational standards, accountability, and teacher qualifications play in student achievement. He has served on three National Academy of Sciences panels, the Consensus Panel of the National Charter School Research Project, and various advisory groups for the U.S. Department of Education. He is also principal investigator for the federally mandated National Evaluation of Magnet Schools.

He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada and an M.Phil. degree in Economics from Oxford University

A Meta-Analysis of the Literature on the Effect of Charter Schools on Student Achievement

This working paper provides a systematic analysis of the field’s most rigorous studies on charter school achievement.

BRIEF - Charter Schools and Achievement

This brief summarizes findings from The Effect of Charter Schools on Student Achievement: a Meta-Analysis of the Literature, a detailed assessment of the literature on student achievement in charter schools.

The Effect of Charter Schools on Student Achievement: A Meta-Analysis of the Literature

This report infers the causal impact of attending a charter school on student performance and finds that whether charters outperform traditional public schools depends on the location, grade, and subject.

Taking Measure of Charter Schools: Better Assessments, Better Policymaking, Better Schools

This book explores how to improve estimates of charter schools' performance and suggests how policymakers can learn more about charter schools and make better use of evidence.

Ch. 1 - Charter Schools and Student Achievement: A Review of the Evidence (HFR '08)

This paper analyzes existing charter outcome studies and finds that there is great variety in charter school performance, with charters outperforming in some grade spans/subjects and underperforming in others...

Oct 25 2011

Seattle, WA - Supporters and critics alike continue to argue about whether charter schools are making a positive difference in the education of America's children. The answer, according to a new analysis of the most rigorous studies conducted to date, is a measured 'yes' in the lower grades.

May 12 2010

Seattle, WA - Despite many assertions to the contrary, we are far from having unambiguous evidence on charter school performance. Study results have been subject to withering criticism, and for good reason.

Nov 3 2014

Julian Betts and Y. Emily Tang respond to a National Education Policy Center review of their report on charter schools and achievement.