Ed 300 Research Proposal on charter schools

Posted on

Question: How has the implementation of the Noble Network of Charter Schools in Chicago affected graduation rates/test scores compared to traditional high schools in the Chicagoland area from 1990 to present day?


For many years, parents have sought to send their children to top high schools that will prepare them for college without the private school cost. Moreover, many of the parents in Chicago try to send their kids to magnet schools, charter schools, and montessori high schools to avoid having their children sent to their neighborhood high schools which have a reputation for producing lower test scores and graduation rates. One network of charter schools has quickly been expanding in Chicago, and has caught the attention of high schoolers all over Chicago: the Noble Network of Charter Schools. As we analyzed Geoffrey Canada’s work in Harlem with the Harlem Children’s Zone in New York City, the effectiveness of charter schools and how they compared to other district schools was not gone into depth with the novel Whatever It Takes by Paul Tough which sparked my interest. Moreover, I hope to analyze the test scores from this network of charter high schools and analyze the impact that the Noble Network of Charter Schools has over the graduations and test scores in Chicago with quantitative data.

Research Strategy:

I started my research with EdWeek.org and searched for articles associating with charter schools in Chicago and school choice movements. I started to look through search engines using the library; however, either only a couple of sources or no sources at all would appear no matter how general or specific I made my search so I began to use Google Scholar for a more broad search. For specific statistics, I visited the Noble Network of Charter Schools website and found some basic graduation statistics and took more graduations statistics for Chicago overall from the Chicago Sun times. I plan to contact a couple of the Noble Network of Charter Schools advocates including the superintendent Michael Milkie.


“Achievements & Results.” Noblenetwork.org. N.p., Dec. 2012. Web. 05 Apr. 2013. <http://www.noblenetwork.org/about-noble/achievements-results>.

Ark, Tom V. “Smart Cities: Chicago’s Collaborative and Chaotic Reform Record.”Edweekly.org. Ed Weekly, 12 Dec. 2011. Web. 5 Apr. 2013. <http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/on_innovation/2012/12/smart_cities_chicagos_collaborative_and_chaotic_reform_record.html?qs=charter+schools+in+chicago,+IL>.

Cullen, Julie B., Brian A. Jacob, and Steven D. Levitt. “The Impact of School Choice on Student Outcomes: An Analysis of the Chicago Public Schools.”ScienceDirect.com. Journal of Public Economics, 26 Aug. 2004. Web. 05 Apr. 2013. <http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047272704000738>.

Greene, Jay P., and Marcus A. Winters. “Public High School Graduation and College-Readiness Rates: 1991–2002.” Www.gatesfoundation.org. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 8 Feb. 2005. Web. 5 Apr. 2013.

Kelleher, James B. “High School Graduation Rate Hits 78.2 Percent, Highest since 1974.” Reuters. Reuters, 22 Jan. 2013. Web. 5 Apr. 2013.

Kevin, Booker, Brian Gill, Ron Zimmer, and Tim R. Sass. “Achievement and Attainment in Chicago Charter Schools: A Summary. Research Brief.”Rand.org. RAND Corporation, 13 Feb. 2008. Web. 05 Apr. 2013. <http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB9345/>.

Published by

Veronica Armendariz

Currently a student at Trinity College with a strong interest in teaching mathematics, volunteering, and tutoring.

2 thoughts on “Ed 300 Research Proposal on charter schools”

  1. As we discussed, consider broadening the scope of your RQ to enrich the change/continuity over time aspect, perhaps something like this: “How and why did the Noble network of charter schools, compared to its competitors, become so popular in Chicago from 1999 to the present?”
    If you find this revised RQ (or something similar) to be acceptable, then you might consider ways of using application/wait list data as a measurement for popularity. Furthermore, you’ve talked with me about ideas that may shape your working thesis (or major argument) to answer the question above, such as: 1) network expansion strategy; 2) curricular focus; 3) graduation goals, etc.

    If the revised RQ suggested above works, then think about sources you’ve already found (and search strategies to try) to identify the most appropriate pieces of evidence to answer that question. For example, think of keyword phrases such as “chicago charter schools” and “evaluation” or other terms, rather than just focusing on the Noble network. In addition to Google Scholar and Worldcat and EdWeek, consider Ed Full Text as well. See also this site for possible studies related to your RQ:

  2. Also, I’ll email the Trinity Librarian (cc: to you) for advice about searching Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun Times from Trinity.

Comments are closed.