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A Think Twice Review of:

New York Charter Schools Outperform Traditional Selective Public Schools: More Evidence that Cream-skimming is Not Driving Charters’ Success

Think Twice - May 09, 2017

Publisher/Think Tank - The Manhattan Institute

Author(s) - Macus A. Winters

The Manhattan Institute’s Marcus Winters released a report that explored the extent to which charter schools’ success could be attributed to “cream-skimming” from struggling public schools in New York. The report claimed that NYC’s charter schools performed better than selective non-charter public schools. The report found that the charter schools performed no differently in ELA and significantly better in math. The report concluded that the success of NYC’s charter schools could not be explained by cream-skimming.

Reviewer(s) - Sarah A. Cordes, Temple University

In her review, Sarah A. Cordes, Temple University, says that the conclusions of the report seem logical, but the report suffers from two primary flaws: (1) it assumes that selective school applicants are higher performing and more motivated than charter school applicants; and (2) the report relies on a single year of data to make comparisons. In her conclusion, she says that this report misses the mark in response to evaluating cream-skimming in NYC charter schools. She writes, “Addressing the question of cream-skimming in NYC charter schools will require the use of longitudinal student-level data and much more rigorous methods.”