Ch. 7 - Calculating Graduation Rates: A New Challenge for Charter Schools (HFR '06)

December 2006

This year's edition of Hopes, Fears, & Reality explores the broad realities of the present-day charter school movement. In this chapter, author Mary Beth Celio contemplates the challenge of fairly measuring charter school graduation rates—an important, but rarely tracked metric of charter school success.

Drawing from a two-city analysis that employs commonly used methodologies to track graduates and drop-outs, Celio finds that the only method available to track charter school graduates would paint a gloomy picture of charter school dropout rates. She then offers guidance for how public officials can begin to make apples-to-apples comparisons of charter and non-charter graduation rates.