I am reposting this because the earlier version lacked a link and the conclusion of the study.

The study is called “Charter Schools and Labor Market Outcomes.”

Click to access texas_charters.pdf

(Note: the source has been deleted. Google the title to find it. This seems to be the latest iteration: https://scholar.harvard.edu/files/fryer/files/charters_appendix_aej_11.26.2017.pdf)

This is an astonishing study, not just because of its findings but because of its authors. Will Dobbie and Roland Fryer are economists who have frequently studied charters, incentives and their effects on test scores. Fryer’s research institute at Harvard was started with several millions from the Broad Foundation. Fryer is a member of the Massachusetts State Board of Education.

Here is the abstract of their study of charter schools in Texas and labor market outcomes:

“We estimate the impact of charter schools on early-life labor market outcomes using administrative data from Texas. We find that, at the mean, charter schools have no impact on test scores and a negative impact on earnings. No Excuses charter schools increase test scores and four-year college enrollment, but have a small and statistically insignificant impact on earnings, while other types of charter schools decrease test scores, four-year college enrollment, and earn- ings. Moving to school-level estimates, we find that charter schools that decrease test scores also tend to decrease earnings, while charter schools that increase test scores have no discernible impact on earnings. In contrast, high school graduation effects are predictive of earnings effects throughout the distribution of school quality. The paper concludes with a speculative discussion of what might explain our set of facts.”

The paper concludes with this speculation:

“Charter schools, in particular No Excuses charter schools, are considered by many to be the most important education reform of the past quarter century. At the very least, however, this paper cautions that charter schools may not have the large effects on earnings many predicted. It is plausible this is due to the growing pains of an early charter sector that was “building the plane as they flew it.” This will be better known with the fullness of time. Much more troubling, it seems, is the possibility that what it takes to increase achievement among the poor in charter schools deprives them of other skills that are important for labor markets.”

Apparently, the obedience and conformity taught in No Excuses charter schools do not help people in jobs where initiative and independent thinking are valued.