PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – With the growth of charter schools, questions about student achievement have increased and Education Week reports on a paper by the Cambridge-based National Bureau of Economic Research comparing those in urban and nonurban charters.

Based on studies primarily in Massachusetts, students from urban charters tend to be poor, from racial minorities, with lower test scores — before attending charters. However, in urban charter schools they outscore nonurban peers.

It’s believed that educators in urban charters feel urgency to get kids up to level and most follow KIPP’s “no excuses” model — intense focus on reading and math, a 5 day longer school year, a longer school day by 42 minutes, a formal discipline and reward system, tutors, Saturday school and parent involvement.

Such intensity has brought better achievement from kids in urban charters with the conclusion that nonurban schools see their mission differently. With most kids entering with better grades and more resources, there is less “push” for academic performance.

Reported By Dr. Marciene Mattleman, KYW Newsradio

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