BOULDER, CO (May 10, 2022)—Summit Public Schools, a charter school organization operating schools in California and Oregon, published Pathways to Success: Exploring the Long-Term Outcomes of Alumni from Summit Public Schools in September 2021, detailing the success of its graduates. A review by Audrey Amrein-Beardsley of Arizona State University examines these questionable assertions made about the performance and life satisfaction of Summit graduates.
The report claims that Summit alumni graduated from college at nearly double the national average and self-reported high levels of well-being, fulfillment, and workplace satisfaction. It also reports that alumni from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds now make more than $60,000 per year on average working full time. However, Professor Amrein-Beardsley explains, low survey response rates and incomplete or inaccurate methodology prevent these claims from being justified.
Although the report professes to be conducted for internal purposes, Summit also distributed an accompanying press release that announced its findings to a broader audience, making the report’s claims of potential interest to policymakers, practitioners, and the public.
However, Professor Amrein-Beardsley concludes that although the study may provide some information useful to Summit’s internal decision-making, its serious methodological issues (e.g., survey research methods, response rates, sample bias, sample representativeness, and uses of comparative data) prevent it from having any implications for practice or policymaking in general.
For further information about Summit Public Schools, please refer to NEPC’s June 2020 research brief, Big Claims, Little Evidence, Lots of Money: The Reality Behind the Summit Learning Program and the Push to Adopt Digital Personalized Learning Platforms.
Find the review, by Audrey Amrein-Beardsley, at:
Find Pathways to Success: Exploring the Long-Term Outcomes of Alumni from Summit Public Schools, written by Anum Ali Mohammed and Adam Black and published by Summit Public Schools, at: