Publication Date


DOI (Digital Object Identifier)



Leadership and Higher Education


Doctor of Education (Ed.D)

Dissertation Chair

Greg R. Thorson, Ph.D.

Committee Members

Ron Morgan, Ed.D.

Jose Lalas, Ph.D.


education; California; charter school; evaluation; Greater Los Angeles


Educational Leadership | Elementary Education


In 1992, California became just the second state in the United States to enact significant charter school legislation. Today, over 940 charter schools are operating in California servicing nearly 350,000 students. California leads the nation both in the number as well as the fastest rate of growth of charter schools (Center for Education Reform 2010). But how effective are these charter schools? This study was organized into five phases and utilized quantitative statistical methods to evaluate the performance of charter schools vis-à-vis traditional public schools in the Greater Los Angeles area: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura counties. This analysis relied on data culled from the California Department of Education. This data included 2010 CST scores for all elementary and middle schools and demographic data such as ethnicity, poverty levels, and English-Language Learner (ELL) status from the state's DataQuest database. In answering the question, "Who is best served by charter schools?" this study found that charter schools tend to better serve African American and Hispanic students, as well as students from an impoverished background; whereas, performance of White students tended to be worse when enrolled in charter schools.


ISBN: 9781267855077