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Abstract

This paper evaluates the performance of charter elementary schools in Los Angeles County in three ways. First, I compare charter school performance to public school performance, controlling for a number of key characteristics. Second, I study the characteristics that appear to influence charter school success as compared to public school success. Third, I study the “competitive effect” of charter schools, examining how geographical proximity to charter schools affects the performance of traditional public schools. I find evidence that, ceteris paribus, traditional public schools score higher than charter schools, except in majority African American schools. Further, I find that the opening of charter schools affects nearby traditional public schools negatively.