Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Susan Korach

Second Advisor

Erin Anderson

Third Advisor

Kathy Green

Fourth Advisor

Douglas Allen


Charter school, Non-charter school, Student achievement, School effectiveness, Low-socioeconomic status


In recent years, falling standards in the American public-school system have elicited public concern and criticism, leading to several public-school reforms. One such reform is the charter-school movement. Charter schools provide a public option for parents in search of an alternative to traditional public schools. At the same time, the achievement gap continues to widen, with students of low socioeconomic status on the losing end. Since the beginning of the charter school movement, research has focused on comparisons in achievement between students in charters and traditional public schools. Results have been mixed.

Focusing on low-SES student populations in Colorado, this quantitative study investigates differences in achievement between the two school types. The unit of analysis of the study was the school level. I hypothesized that charter schools would demonstrate statistically higher achievement, and that a school’s SES would also statistically impact achievement. Two other hypotheses tested associations between school type and school SES, and percentage-minority and school SES.

A 2*2 Factorial Analysis of Variance was used for the study. The study found that the effect of school type on student achievement was not statistically different. On school SES, the study revealed a statistically significant difference. A chi Square test of association between school type and School SES was not statistically significant.

However, the association between percentage-minority and school SES was statistically significant, indicating low-SES schools have a higher percentage of low-SES students than high-SES Schools. The relationship between percentage minority and school SES was an inverse one.

Recommendations include the need for future research to examine middle and high schools, where charter management organizations dominate. As well, the study should be replicated in other states for comparison of standardized results.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Alexander Ohene Ansah


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

112 pgs


Educational leadership