Effective Practices in New York City’s High Performing Charter Schools

Public Deposited
  • This qualitative case study examined four high-performing charter schools in New York City to help explain what characteristics and practices influence their long-term academic success on the New York State Math and New York State English Language Arts exams. The knowledge gathered from these charter schools—widely regarded as successful and exceeding performance standards—may help address the problem of failing charter schools and aid in closing the academic achievement gap. The foundation used to guide the data collection and analysis centered on John Hattie's (2017) synthesis of over 1,400 meta-analyses of 80,000 studies involving 300 million students relating to the influences on achievement in students. Hattie (2017) categorized these influences into six domains, identified as significant contributors to learning. This qualitative study addressed the domains under a school’s control, the school, teacher, curricula, and teaching. The overarching research question for this study was, “What practices impact student achievement in four high-performing New York City charter schools?” To answer that question, the following questions were investigated: “In what ways do school policies and practices impact student achievement at a high-performing charter school?,” “How do curricula impact student achievement at a high-performing charter school?,” and “How do teachers and teaching approaches impact student achievement at a high-performing charter school?” Literature on the charter school movement, student performance at charter schools, and charter school practices were reviewed. The data source for the study was an open-ended survey distributed to school leaders and teachers from selected high-performing charter schools. The coding strategy integrated pre-figured codes aligned with John Hattie’s (2009, 2011, 2015, 2019) domains of school, teacher, curricula, and teaching. Data collection and analysis led to identifying ten practices that may contribute to student academic success. Within the domain of school, a decentralized organizational structure, high behavior expectations and structured disciplinary approach, academic tutoring, and school cultures of success were found within all charter schools. In the domain of curricula, test preparation, unique network-designed curriculum, and longer core English Language Arts and math blocks were identified as contributing to student academic achievement. From the domain of teacher, influences identified as having the most significant impact on student academic performance were collaboration and weekly professional development. Finally, within the domain of teaching approaches, using various teaching methods positively affected student achievement.
Last modified
  • 04/16/2024
Date created
Resource type
Rights statement


In Collection: