"Despite Push, Success at Charter Schools Is Mixed By TRIP GABRIEL"
Followed a few paragraphs later by the money shot:
As I mentioned before, there is reason to believe that this research is biased in favor of charter schools.
But for all their support and cultural cachet, the majority of the 5,000 or so charter schools nationwide appear to be no better, and in many cases worse, than local public schools when measured by achievement on standardized tests, according to experts citing years of research. Last year one of the most comprehensive studies, by researchers from Stanford University, found that fewer than one-fifth of charter schools nationally offered a better education than comparable local schools, almost half offered an equivalent education and more than a third, 37 percent, were “significantly worse.”
Although “charter schools have become a rallying cry for education reformers,” the report, by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes, warned, “this study reveals in unmistakable terms that, in the aggregate, charter students are not faring as well” as students in traditional schools.
If you showed me test results for a new cholesterol-controlling drug in which 20% of the subjects had lower LDL levels than when they started taking the drugs, 51% stayed the same and 37% were "significantly worse," I don't think I would describe the results as 'mixed.'
But, of course, I'm not writing for the New York Times.
"If you showed me test results for a new cholesterol-controlling drug in which 20% of the subjects had lower LDL levels than when they started taking the drugs, 51% stayed the same and 37% were "significantly worse," I don't think I would describe the results as 'mixed.'"ReplyDelete
Only if you could show some evidence that the 20% are an identifiable sub-group (e.g. diabetics) who could be treated differently than the rest of the population. So, for example, imagine 20% of students learn by hearing, 51% learn both by seeing and hearing and 37% learn by seeing. If we could show that charter schools focused on one group then I would be much more encouraged.
But I don't see that argument being made either.
In partial defence of charter schools, I have glanced over some of this research and I have lots of concerns about its quality. I suspect that better research would identify a subset of the charter schools that really are doing something right and should be encouraged.ReplyDelete