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Stanford Study Finds National Heritage Academies Students Gain Months of Extra Learning Each Year

NHA Communications Team  |  October 29, 2018
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – National Heritage Academies (NHA) partner-school students receive the equivalent of three-and-a-half months of extra learning every year compared with their traditional public school peers, according to a study by Stanford University’s CREDO Institute.
Students at NHA partner-schools experience about 80 days of additional learning in math and 63 days in reading for a composite score of 71 days of extra education, according to the report by Stanford’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes, or CREDO, one of the nation’s most respected researchers of charter schools.
Overall, NHA was among the top 20 percent of schools surveyed, ranking in the 84th percentile and outperforming more than four-fifths of the other charter school systems studied. The CREDO findings illustrate NHA’s progress toward a goal of putting every one of its 60,000 students on a college-bound path before they reach high school.
“Every child deserves a high-quality education, and seeing the results of the CREDO study reinforces the very important work being done by our educators in thousands of classrooms,” said Brian Britton, president and chief executive officer of NHA, which operates 87 tuition-free public charter schools in nine states.
The results for NHA students are echoed on a national scale, with charter school students generally gaining more in math and reading compared with their public school counterparts, according to the CREDO study.
Overall, 85 percent of charter management operated schools, which includes NHA, had better or equal academic gains in reading versus their public school peers, and 72 percent of charter schools in this category had better or equal gains in math compared with public schools.
CREDO reviewed 3.68 million individual records of students from 63,616 traditional public schools and 5,715 charter schools in 24 states plus New York City and Washington, D.C., and it includes 286 charter networks such as NHA.
Researchers matched each charter student with as many as seven “virtual twins” at traditional schools who had similar backgrounds and prior academic performance, then examined the difference in academic growth of both sets of students in state test scores.
Charter school students showed greater effective educational gains the longer they are enrolled in charter schools, with accelerated rates of learning for both math and reading that add tens of days of additional education in years two and three, CREDO researchers found.
Students who are black, Hispanic, or living in poverty also benefit from charter school enrollment, achieving academic gains that are better than their traditional public school peers in most benchmark categories measured in the study.

 National Heritage Academies was founded more than two decades ago with a curriculum built around math, reading, science, and social studies. Students take nationally recognized tests three times a year to track academic progress and growth goals, and to allow teachers to identify areas where additional individual instruction will help students thrive.
About National Heritage Academies
Established in 1995, National Heritage Academies operates more than 90 no-cost public charter schools serving more than 60,000 students in nine states. To learn more, visit