Evaluating NJ Charter Schools

New Jersey Charter SchoolsA team of Montclair State researchers is studying whether New Jersey public charter schools are making the grade. New Jersey was one of three states to receive a 2012 U.S. Department of Education Charter School Program grant to foster awareness of public charter schools and increase its number of high-quality charter schools.

The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) has contracted with Montclair State’s Center for Research and Evaluation on Education and Human Services (CREEHS) Director Eden Kyse and Senior Research Associate Rebecca Swann-Johnson to evaluate the state’s Charter School Grant Program. 

During the course of the two-year contract, which began in April, Kyse, Swann-Jackson and Research Associate Jessica Marini ’06 will be visiting five of the 13 New Jersey charter schools that have been awarded Charter School Program (CSP) planning and implementation grants through the NJDOE. “We’ll measure the grants’ impact and implementation through focus groups, interviews with key stakeholders and surveys, as well as existing school enrollment and achievement data,” explains Swann-Jackson.

Working with the Office of Charter Schools, the CREEHS team is assessing several aspects of the program, beginning with how the schools receiving grants were selected. We’ll compare how those funds were proposed to be used and how they have actually been used,” says Swann-Jackson. “And we’ll look to see if the schools have been able to increase the number of high-quality seats – or seats at a school that exceeds a set of established performance criteria – available to students.”