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A Report Card For Liberia’s Charter Schools (The Economist)
September 7, 2017
From the article:
Drawing on American charter schools and English academies, last year the ministry delegated the management of 93 public schools to eight independent operators, three of which are private firms. Policymakers from countries such as Ghana, India and Nigeria are watching PSL as they consider trying similar ideas.
Initial results from PSL suggest that would be wise. On September 7th researchers from two think-tanks, the Centre for Global Development and Innovations for Poverty Action, published their analysis of the scheme’s first year. On average, pupils at PSL schools spent about twice as much time learning as their peers at ordinary schools—a result of them turning up more often, relatively diligent teaching and longer school days. Some operators did better than others. But overall, pupils at PSL schools made roughly an additional seven months’ worth of progress in English and maths compared with children at typical public institutions.
These benefits came at a cost. Liberia’s government typically spends about $50 per pupil per year. PSL schools could dip into a philanthropic pot and spend twice that amount.