From the Colorado Department of Education (CDE), Commissioner Dwight Jones is urging parents to get involved in a research study of Core Knowledge charter schools:
The study is being led by David W. Grissmer and Thomas G. White,
researchers at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education. They have received a $4.9 million grant to evaluate the effectiveness of Core Knowledge charter schools in Colorado. The Colorado Department of Education is participating as a full partner.
The five-year grant is being funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, part of the U.S. Department of Education. Grissmer, a principal research scientist, and White, a senior scientist, work at the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning, a national center that focuses on the quality of teaching and students’ learning.
“This study holds tremendous potential as a definitive work that will analyze the key ingredients of these successful schools,” said Commissioner Jones. “Because the study design requires participation
from parents who win lottery-based enrollment to Core Knowledge charter schools—and those who don’t win those lotteries—I am strongly encouraging parents to participate in the study to help us all
better understand the elements that make these schools effective.” [link added]
Core Knowledge charters have thrived here in Colorado like few other places. According to an earlier study from CDE, 57 of the state’s 135 charters in 2008 were centered around the Core Knowledge program.
So what is it that makes these schools so effective? Is it because they “cream” the best students from the traditional public schools? If researchers reach the same findings as the Wall Street Journal has reported about Stanford professor Caroline Hoxby’s newly-released study of charter schools in New York City, the answer would be a resounding NO (H/T Colorado Charters).
But as the Commissioner says, it will take parent participation to help provide similar important answers here in Colorado. If you’ve won (or lost) through the lottery system a chance for your child to attend one of these schools, you are exactly the person they’re looking for. If your child attends a Core Knowledge charter, ask the school office how you can get involved. Or contact CDE’s communications office.