Most people involved in education policy know exactly what you mean when you refer to “the CREDO study.” I can’t prove this, but suspect it may be the most frequently mentioned research report over the past two years (it was released in 2009), says Matthew Di Carlo, senior fellow at the non-profit Albert Shanker Institute, for the Washington Post. For those who haven’t heard of it (or have forgotten), this report, done by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO), which is based at Stanford University, was a comparison of public charter schools and traditional public schools in 15 states and the District of Columbia. Put simply, the researchers matched up real charter school students with fictional amalgamations of statistically similar students in the same area (the CREDO team called them “virtual twins”), and compared charter school students’ performance (in terms of test score gains) to that of their “twins.”

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