"If a student does go back to the traditional public school district, the schools are required to take them in. Adding to the traditional public school’s burden is the fact that these students self-selected as not wanting to be a part of a rigorous academic environment.
"Where charter schools do not have to accept new students mid-way through the year if they have met their target population, traditional public schools do have that obligation. Additionally, Miron said the district often receives very little funding for those pupils if they join after the first count day in October.
"Miron said that once a charter school earns a reputation as a high-performing or low-performing school, the designation becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. He studied two charter schools less than half a mile away from each other in Delaware that had similar student bodies socioeconomically, but saw very different outcomes.
“'We used student-specific data to find out who was entering and exiting both schools,' he said. 'At the high-performing school, the kids who came in were the ones who already had higher performing scores, and the ones who left early were the ones who didn’t keep up. At the other school it was the opposite. Students came in with scores that were already lower and those that tested above average were the ones leaving.'