Date of Completion


Degree Type

Honors Thesis - Campus Access


Political Science (POLS)

First Advisor

Richard Fox, Ph.D.


School choice proponents have long been selling charter schools as the viable alternative to failing public schools. In 2009, Stanford University's Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) presented a longitudinal student-level analysis that looked at seventy percent of charter schools across the nation and found that only seventeen percent of charter schools provided superior education opportunities as compared to traditional public schools based on test scores in reading and math. Nationally, most charter schools do no better in terms of student achievement with many charter schools doing worse. The question that becomes, what is it about the seventeen percent of charter schools in the CREDO study that contributes to their students' success? While the CREDO study examined charter schools in comparison with traditional public schools, I am interested in analyzing charter schools themselves. What accounts for differences among charter schools? What factors lead to a charter school's success? An original data set of all site-based learning charter schools in California will be created and the Academic Performance Index (API) score will be used as a measure of success. In addition, interviews with administrators at charter schools in Los Angeles County will be conducted. Once the factors that lead to charter school success are discovered, operators of charter schools will now have evidence which they can utilize to make charter schools more successful.