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Charter Schools
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RELs work in partnership with states and districts to 1) conduct original high quality research, 2) provide training, coaching, and technical support, and 3) disseminate high quality research findings on the topic of charter schools. A selected list of resources developed by the REL Program appears below.


  • Special Education Enrollment and Classification in Louisiana Charter Schools and Traditional Schools (REL Southwest, January 2018). This study provided an exploratory analysis of the enrollment rates of students with individualized education programs (IEPs) in the charter school and traditional school sectors. It also examines factors associated with variation in classification and enrollment rates of students with IEPs across these school sectors in the four educational regions of Louisiana with three or more charter schools.
  • An Exploratory Analysis of Features of New Orleans Charter Schools Associated with Student Achievement Growth (REL Southwest, January 2018). In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the number of charter schools in New Orleans has rapidly expanded. During the 2012/13 school year, the period covered by this study, more than 84 percent of all public school students in the city were enrolled in charter schools. This study explored organizational, operational, and instructional features of New Orleans charter schools serving grades 3–8 to identify potential indicators of student achievement growth in English language arts (ELA), math, and science.
  • Identifying South Carolina Charter Schools That are "Beating the Odds" (REL Southeast, February 2017). This project will examine the charter schools in South Carolina and determine which charter schools are "Beating the Odds" (BTO). The REL Southeast study team will work with South Carolina SEA research personnel to develop a statistical model that can identify their BTO charter schools. This work can serve as a first step towards comparing practices and policies in South Carolina's charter schools and help begin to fulfill South Carolina's expressed need for developing learning communities among their charter schools.
  • Leadership Characteristics and Practices in South Carolina Charter Schools (REL Southeast, November 2016). The purpose of this descriptive study was to identify characteristics of charter school leaders in South Carolina, determine how they spend their work hours, understand the time they spend on challenges to their work, and learn who influences their schools' policies.

Archived Webinars

  • The Special Education Enrollment Gap in Louisiana: Charter vs. Traditional Schools (REL Southwest, October 12, 2018) This webinar provides an overview of REL Southwest's report on the special education enrollment gap between charter and traditional schools in Louisiana, as well as the findings and implications for charter schools both in and out of state.
  • Charter School Lotteries Webinar (REL Southeast, November 20, 2014). This online webinar gives a brief state of charter school lotteries in South Carolina, addresses promising practices and state and federal guidance on charter school lotteries, and shares lessons learned from conducting a large scale lottery based study.

For more resources in ERIC on the topic of charter schools, click here.

For more resources in the What Works Clearinghouse on the topic of charter schools, click here.