Document Type



Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Adviser

White, George

Other advisers/committee members

Beachum, Floyd; Hochbein, Craig; Mayger, Linda


The rapid increase in charter school enrollment has had a significant impact on many school districts throughout the country. As such, a large body of research has emerged around charter school issues, including equitable access to charter school enrollment, fair and transparent recruitment and enrollment practices, and effects on academic, attendance, and behavior outcomes. The Center for Reinventing Public Education, housed at the University of Washington, is leading a district-charter collaboration initiative to re-align the two sectors to better serve students in both charter and traditional public schools. District-charter collaboration has the potential to address the complexities in each of the three research themes described above. The present study aimed to contribute to this emerging work around district-charter collaboration by examining the outcomes of the only in-district charter school in operation in Eastern Pennsylvania. Using extant data from Building 21 Allentown and Allentown School District, this study first examined whether students who entered the in-district charter’s admissions lottery represented the general population of district students, and then examined whether the program had an impact on Building 21 Allentown lottery winners, compared to lottery non-winners. Logistic regression results indicated that Gifted identification increased the likelihood of entering the lottery and that absenteeism decreased the likelihood. Chi-Square results indicated that lottery winners and non-winners performed similarly on the standardized Algebra exam. MANOVA results revealed that lottery winners achieved significantly higher GPAs and significantly fewer discipline infractions than non-winners. The findings from the study should inform policy makers, practitioners and researchers about the advantages and challenges of in-district charter schools.