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Abt Global to Research New Mexico's Charter Schools

Study to Focus on Dual Language Programs

Rockville, Md. – Abt Global announced today that, with support from Arnold Ventures, a Texas-based philanthropy, Abt will lead a two-year study on student outcomes in New Mexico’s charter school sector.

Much of the existing research on student performance in charter schools has focused on branded, centrally managed charter schools run by charter management organizations (CMOs). Because all of New Mexico’s state charters are free-standing and independent (non-CMOs), the findings of previous charter school studies are difficult to apply to New Mexico.  Abt will now be able to provide relevant research to aid the development of New Mexico’s charter sector, in which approximately 1 in 10 New Mexico students are enrolled.

Abt’s study will investigate the effectiveness of the state’s elementary and secondary school charters, and focus on New Mexico charter schools offering “dual language immersion,” in which students are taught in two languages. Research has shown that, in addition to promoting biliteracy, dual language immersion improves students’ English Language Arts achievement.

“New Mexico’s student demographics and charter school context don’t match what we’ve seen in rigorous charter school studies conducted elsewhere,” said Abt Project Director Rachel McCormick. “We look forward to providing the state with evidence generated from its own students to help ensure effective education policies that can really improve outcomes.” McCormick—along with Abt Principal Investigator Eleanor Harvill, Ph.D., a national leader in education research methodology—will lead the study.

Working with our partners—Public Charter Schools of New Mexico, Dual Language Education New Mexico, the New Mexico Public Education Department and Dr. Elizabeth R. Howard, a bilingualism expert at the University of Connecticut—Abt will measure a comprehensive array of student outcomes, including academic achievement, attendance, English learner status, graduation, college enrollment and college persistence.  Results of this study are expected to be published in the summer of 2021.

About Abt Global
Abt Global is an engine for social impact, dedicated to moving people from vulnerability to security. Harnessing the power of data and our experts’ insights, we provide research, consulting and technical services globally in the areas of health, environmental and social policy, technology and international development.

Eric Tischler
(301) 347-5492

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