Charter schools: No better than real public schools | Arkansas Blog

Monday, July 1, 2013

Charter schools: No better than real public schools

Posted By on Mon, Jul 1, 2013 at 11:49 AM

The Billionaire Boys Club, with leading press agentry by the Walton "education reform" propaganda machine, is already spinning it differently, but they are outliers in interpreting yet another Stanford study that was hoped to demonstrate the superiority of charter schools.

Writes columnist Wendy Lecker, senior attorney for the Campaign for Fiscal Equity project at the Education Law Center:

The verdict is in, and it is the same as four years ago. In updating its 2009 national study on charter schools, Stanford's Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) reaches the same conclusion it did in its previous study: The vast majority of charter schools in the United States are no better than public schools.

In 2009, 83 percent of charters were the same or worse than public schools, and now about 71-75 percent are. Even more telling, CREDO concludes that "the charter sector is getting better on average, but not because existing schools are getting dramatically better; it is largely driven by the closure of bad schools." In addition, students at new charter schools have lower reading and math gains than at public schools.

I had written before that a full examination of the study shows that, on the whole, Arkansas charter schools have not outperformed conventional Arkansas public schools in the measured categories. This link contains a link to the entirety of the Stanford study.

You'll find a deeper, more nuanced analysis by Matthew Di Carlo on the Shanker blog. He writes about changes between 2009 and the most recent study:

Overall, what do these results mean? The differences within and between time periods are still quite small, and, overall, the major conclusion is no different than before: There is substantial variability in estimated charter school effects, and little meaningful difference on the whole. That said, the finding that charter schools’ relative performance may be getting better is significant, and should not be disregarded. It will be very interesting to see if this improvement keeps up.

And, of course, the most important question — how do we explain these differences within and between time periods, states and subgroups — remains an open one, and is severely constrained by the difficult of gathering these data, but this report provides some useful information toward that goal (actually, having school-level estimates across 27 states is by itself a big asset). Going forward, this will hopefully be the focus of charter research.

One final point: It’s a little striking to consider that it’s been over 20 years since charter schools appeared on the public educational landscape, and opinions about them, positive and negative, tend to be exceedingly strong, but we’re still in the earlier phases of figuring them out. Good policy research, like good policy, requires time and patience.

In Arkansas, the message driven by the Waltons, Hussmans and their camp followers has been that invocation of the words "charter school" — real or virtual — is next to godliness. They must be better than those nasty ol' real public schools. The reality is far more complicated.

Tags: ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (9)

Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Two more get prison for feeding program fraud

    Two more people got prison sentences today for defrauding the state-run program that uses federal money to provide meals to poor children.
    • Aug 18, 2017
  • Friday's open line

    Here's today's video. And it is the open line.
    • Aug 18, 2017
  • Steve Bannon leaving White House

    The odious Steve Bannon, right-wing nationalist, is departing his White House job as strategist for Donald Trump.  Alas, Trump is still there.
    • Aug 18, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Judge Griffen: Why black lives matter

    Another few words from Judge Wendell Griffen growing from the controversy over the sale of Black Lives Matter T-shirts at the state black history museum — removed by the administration and restored after protests from Griffen and others stirred by a story in the Arkansas Times:
    • Mar 13, 2016
  • Arkansas Supreme Court refuses to rehear invalidation of marijuana act

    The Arkansas Supreme Court today denied a request to rehear its decision invalidating Issue 7, the medical marijuana initiated act.
    • Nov 3, 2016
  • Judge anticipates punishment of lawyers in Fort Smith class action case

    Federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith issued a 32-page ruling yesterday indicating he contemplates punishment of 16 lawyers who moved a class action lawsuit against an insurance company out of his court to a state court in Polk County after a settlement had been worked out.
    • Apr 15, 2016

Most Shared

  • Take yourself there: Mavis Staples coming to LR for Central High performance

    Gospel and R&B singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples, who has been inspiring fans with gospel-inflected freedom songs like "I'll Take You There" and "March Up Freedom's Highway" and the poignant "Oh What a Feeling" will come to Little Rock for the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High.
  • Klan's president

    Everything that Donald Trump does — make that everything that he says — is calculated to thrill his lustiest disciples. But he is discovering that what was brilliant for a politician is a miscalculation for a president, because it deepens the chasm between him and most Americans.
  • On Charlottesville

    Watching the Charlottesville spectacle from halfway across the country, I confess that my first instinct was to raillery. Vanilla ISIS, somebody called this mob of would-be Nazis. A parade of love-deprived nerds marching bravely out of their parents' basements carrying tiki torches from Home Depot.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Friday's open line

    • I had a busy afternoon but did manage to be in the mighty truck when…

    • on August 19, 2017
  • Re: What's your Big Idea for Arkansas?

    • Do you need an urgent loan to start up business, debt loan? buy a car…

    • on August 19, 2017
  • Re: Friday's open line

    • Cato, you could see where Glibbus was going immediately in prelude to his "dramatic" one-liner…

    • on August 18, 2017

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation