Ed Trust turns in an interesting new report (pdf) about student achievement patterns. Overall punchline: Encouraging signs in elementary schools, still slow times at the nation’s high schools in terms of the gaps. The report is basically a repackaging of 2003-2005 achievement data but it’s useful one-stop shopping for this information and a handy dashboard.
RAND takes a look at California’s public charter schools. Most critics and the Kool-Aid drinking proponents will be unhappy with the sober and evenhanded report (pdf):
Our results from California show that charter schools generally perform on par with traditional public schools, but they have not closed the achievement gaps for minorities and have not had the expected competitive effects on traditional public schools. On a more positive note, they have achieved comparable test score results with fewer public resources than have traditional schools and have emphasized non-core subjects. The evidence shows that charter schools have not created “white enclaves” or “skimmed” high-quality students from traditional public schools—in fact, charter schools have proven to be more popular among black and lower-achieving students and may have actually created “black enclaves.”
Ed Sector’s Carey takes a look at what’s happened with No Child Left Behind’s mostly overlooked emphasis on better targeting federal education dollars to low-income kids in a new Chart You Can Trust. Eduwonk flashback here and here.