Attention LA Members: Participate in USC Spencer Study

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October 19, 2016 Dear Los Angeles Charter School Leaders,

As you may be aware, a team of researchers from the University of Southern California, Montclair State University, and Tulane University is conducting an important study of three cities (Los Angeles, Denver, and New Orleans) in which a diverse array of publicly funded schools exist (including traditional district‐run schools, standalone charter schools, and charter schools operated by Charter Management Organizations). The team is working to better understand the ways in which these cities are enabling a system of diverse school options for students and how these efforts are associated with educator practice and outcomes for students, educators, and schools. This research is being funded by the Spencer Foundation.

We believe that this is an important study, and has the potential to inform policy and practice surrounding school governance and operations locally and nationally. We encourage you to participate with these researchers to the best of your ability, and we thank those of you who have already done so.

In addition to surveys and case study visits, the research team is collecting administrative student data from the 2013‐14, 2014‐15 and 2015‐16 school years in order to examine intermediate and long‐term student outcomes associated with different school models in LAUSD such as student mobility and achievement.

The provision of administrative student data (de‐identified, without student names), does not violate FERPA regulations. USC will not identify any individuals, schools or CMOS by name in written publications and will not share identifiable information with anyone who is not part of the project study team. The study meets all Institutional Review Board requirements.

We hope that you will assist with providing this information. This study will provide important insights to a wide audience of policymakers, educators, and researchers interested in the implementation of portfolio district and school choice policies, their intermediate and longer‐term outcomes, and district and school conditions that can be fostered to make such programs more effective.

If you have any questions regarding this study, please contact Dr. Katharine Strunk at (213) 740‐2190 or, or Dr. Julie A. Marsh at (213) 740‐3710 or


Elizabeth Robitaille
Senior Vice President, Achievement and Performance Management
California Charter Schools Association