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No Excuses charter school model

Health Factors: Education
Decision Makers: Educators Local Government State Government Nonprofit Leaders
Evidence Rating: Scientifically Supported
Population Reach: 10-19% of WI's population
Impact on Disparities: Likely to decrease disparities

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Description

No Excuses charter schools focus heavily on reading and math achievement, enforce high behavioral expectations through a formal discipline system, and substantially increase instruction time relative to traditional public schools (Angrist 2013, Dobbie 2013). Teachers receive more feedback about their teaching than peers in other schools and regularly use data from student assessments to modify instruction; school days and school years are often longer than those in traditional public schools (Dobbie 2013). No Excuses schools often offer intense tutoring, especially for students with remedial needs (Dobbie 2013, Fryer 2014). As with other charter schools, No Excuses schools use public finances and are not subject to many of the regulations that govern traditional public schools such as staffing, curriculum, and budgeting requirements (Mathematica-Clark 2011).

Expected Beneficial Outcomes

Increased academic achievement
Increased college enrollment

Evidence of Effectiveness

There is strong evidence that charter schools following the No Excuses model increase students’ academic achievement (Abdulkadiroglu 2011, Angrist 2013, Dobbie 2013, EDRE-Cheng 2015). Academic gains appear strongest for black and Hispanic students, students from families with low incomes, and students who enter the school with low achievement scores (Angrist 2013).

No Excuses schools increase students’ reading and math achievement more than traditional public schools (Dobbie 2013, Abdulkadiroglu 2011, Angrist 2013), and more than many other charter school models (Angrist 2013). Such schools can also increase students’ scores on high school exit exams and college entrance exams, and increase likelihood of college enrollment, compared to students who do not win admittance lotteries for No Excuses schools (NBER-Angrist 2013).

A Houston-based study indicates that when low performing traditional public schools restructure to follow No Excuses principles, students can increase math achievement, especially when offered intense tutoring (Fryer 2014).

Per pupil expenditures vary by school. In a Boston-based study, expenditures by No Excuses charter schools were similar to those of traditional public schools (Angrist 2013). In a Houston-based study, reforming low performing traditional public schools to incorporate No Excuses principles increased cost by $1800 per pupil, mainly due to the lengthened school day and the cost of intense tutoring for some students (Fryer 2012).

Additional research is needed to determine whether the No Excuses model could be effectively scaled to additional schools and which elements of the model are most crucial to success (Fryer 2014). An examination of an effort to scale up the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) model No Excuses school, suggests gains in student academic achievement can be maintained with program expansion (Mathematica-Tuttle 2015).  

Implementation

United States

Charter schools following the No Excuses model are often established in low income, urban areas. Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) schools (Mathematica-Booker 2014), the Promise Academy in the Harlem Children’s Zone (NBER-Dobbie 2013), and SEED (Curto 2014) are examples of schools following the No Excuses model. SEED schools, located in Baltimore and Washington DC, board students five days a week and teach non-academic content such as nutrition and social skills (Curto 2014).

Wisconsin

Schools That Can Milwaukee is a network of schools seeking to replicate the practices of high performing schools, including No Excuses schools, that serve children from low income families (STCM).

Implementation Resources

HCZ-PA - Harlem Children's Zone (HCZ). Promise Academy K-12 Charter Schools. Accessed on February 1, 2016
KIPP - Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP). Accessed on June 30, 2016

Citations - Description

Angrist 2013* - Angrist JD, Pathak PA, Walters CR. Explaining charter school effectiveness. American Economic Journal. 2013;5(4):1-27. Accessed on January 28, 2016
Dobbie 2013* - Dobbie W, Fryer Jr. RG. Getting beneath the veil of effective schools: Evidence from New York City. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics. 2013;5(4):28–60. Accessed on June 30, 2016
Fryer 2014* - Fryer RG. Injecting charter schools best practices into traditional public schools: Evidence from field experiments. The Quarterly Journal of Economics. 2014;129(3):1355-1407. Accessed on February 4, 2016
Mathematica-Clark 2011 - Clark MA, Gleason P, Tuttle CC, Silverberg MK. Do charter schools improve student achievement? Evidence from a national randomized study. Princeton: Mathematica Policy Research (MPR); 2011. Accessed on May 24, 2016

Citations - Evidence

Abdulkadiroglu 2011 - Abdulkadiroglu A, Angrist JD, Dynarski SM, Kane TJ, Pathak PA. Accountability and flexibility in public schools: Evidence from Boston’s charters and pilots. Quaterly Journal of Economics. 2011;126(2):699–748. Accessed on December 22, 2015
Angrist 2013* - Angrist JD, Pathak PA, Walters CR. Explaining charter school effectiveness. American Economic Journal. 2013;5(4):1-27. Accessed on January 28, 2016
Dobbie 2013* - Dobbie W, Fryer Jr. RG. Getting beneath the veil of effective schools: Evidence from New York City. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics. 2013;5(4):28–60. Accessed on June 30, 2016
EDRE-Cheng 2015 - Cheng A, Hitt C, Kisida B, Mills JN. No Excuses Charter Schools: A meta-analysis of the experimental evidence on student achievement. 2015: EDRE Working Paper No. 2014-11. Accessed on February 4, 2016
Fryer 2012 - Fryer R Jr. Learning from the successes and failures of charter schools. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution; 2012: Discussion Paper. Accessed on January 28, 2016
Fryer 2014* - Fryer RG. Injecting charter schools best practices into traditional public schools: Evidence from field experiments. The Quarterly Journal of Economics. 2014;129(3):1355-1407. Accessed on February 4, 2016
Mathematica-Tuttle 2015 - Tuttle CC, Gleason P, Knechtel V, et al. Understanding the effect of KIPP as it scales: Volume 1, impacts on achievement and other outcomes. Washington, DC: Mathematica Policy Research (MPR), KIPP Foundation; 2015. Accessed on June 30, 2016
NBER-Angrist 2013* - Angrist JD, Cohodes SR, Dynarski SM, Pathak PA, Walters CR. Stand and deliver: Effects of Boston's charter high schools on college preparation, entry, and choice. National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). 2013: Working Paper 19275. Accessed on January 27, 2016

Citations - Implementation

Curto 2014* - Curto VE, Fryer Jr. RG. The potential of urban boarding schools for the poor: Evidence from SEED. Journal of Labor Economics. 2014;32(1):65-93. Accessed on January 28, 2016
Mathematica-Booker 2014 - Booker K, Gill B, Sass T, Zimmer R. Charter high schools’ effects on long-term attainment and earnings. Mathematica Policy Research (MPR); 2014. Accessed on January 26, 2016
NBER-Dobbie 2013* - Dobbie W, Fryer Jr. RG. The medium-term impacts of high-achieving charter schools on non-test score outcomes. National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); 2013. Accessed on December 15, 2015
STCM - Schools That Can Milwaukee (STCM). Partner Schools. Accessed on February 1, 2016

Page Last Updated

February 11, 2016

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