Can Successful Schools Replicate? Scaling Up Boston’s Charter School Sector

New Findings, School Reform, November 2016

In a climate of school turnarounds, charter school conversions, and new school openings, an important question is whether schools that boost student outcomes can reproduce their success at new campuses. The authors study a policy reform that allowed effective charter schools in Boston, Massachusetts to replicate their school models at new locations. Estimates based on randomized admission lotteries show that replicate charter schools generate large achievement gains on par with those produced by their parent campuses. The average effectiveness of Boston’s charter middle school sector increased after the reform despite a doubling of charter market share.