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Roland Fryer Identifies Five Habits of Successful Charter Schools

Harvard economist (and Freakonomics friend) Roland Fryer has a new paper out (full version here) that takes a look at the specific successful habits of charter schools. Along with co-author Will Dobbie, Fryer collected “unparalleled data” on 35 elementary and middle charter schools in New York City by conducting extensive interviews and videotaping classrooms.

Their results are fairly counter-intuitive. They showed that traditional solutions like class size, per-pupil expenditure, and the number of teachers with advanced degrees are not correlated with effectiveness, and in fact, “resource-based solutions” actually lowered school effectiveness.

Instead, they found five qualities that made up about 50 percent of a charter school’s effectiveness. These are:

1. Frequent teacher feedback
2. Data driven instruction
3. High-dosage tutoring
4. Increased instructional time
5. Relentless focus on academic achievement. Read More »

Roland Fryer Makes Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential List

Some first-grade classrooms perform “Acknowledgments,” wherein children sit in a circle and take turns publicly praising a classmate for some good or wise act. Bloggers can do this too. Here is the first of three Acknowledgments you’ll read on this blog today. It is with great pride that I report that my good friend Roland […] Read More »

Roland Fryer on The Colbert Report

I’m a bit late getting to this, but I just saw that my friend Roland Fryer appeared on The Colbert Report on Monday. He was — officially — talking about his current experiments with providing incentives for kids to get better grades. While it is pretty hard to look good next to Colbert, Roland pulled […] Read More »

Roland Fryer Is Making Things Happen in New York City’s Schools

From today’s Times: Mayor Bloomberg has approved a major facet of Roland Fryer‘s program for making learning “cool” for inner-city kids. Read More »

Roland Fryer Gets Promoted

My friend and co-author Roland Fryer, an assistant professor at Harvard, has just been promoted. Usually, for an academic, that would mean getting tenure. For Roland, it is a little different. He’s been named a CEO — not Chief Executive Officer, but rather Chief Equality Officer for the New York Public Schools system. You can […] Read More »

Tim Harford on Roland Fryer and “Acting White”

Tim Harford, author of “The Undercover Economist” has written a thoughtful article on my friend and co-author Roland Fryer’s research into the gap between Blacks and Whites . Read More »

Roland Fryer: It’s Official, He’s a “Genius”

I first met Roland Fryer a decade ago. It didn’t take me long to figure out he was a genius. It took the folks at the MacArthur Foundation a little longer to come to that realization, but they finally got on board last week when they gave Roland one of their high-profile MacArthur “Genius” Awards.

Most of Roland’s research has been devoted to understanding the factors influencing Black economic progress. He’s worked on segregation, the sources of the Black-White test score gap, the reasons why Black longevity is less than that of Whites, and the Ku Klux Klan, among many other topics. Read More »

Roland Fryer’s Inequality Lab

My good friend and co-author Roland Fryer, much of whose work was featured in Freakonomics, has a fantastic new web page that details his research at the American Inequality Lab. It is definitely worth a look if you are interested in race and inequality. Read More »