Bad News for Conservatives (1) ~ Charter Schools are a Bust
From The New York Times today we find a report about how wealthy folks with money to throw around seem not to be terribly 'reality based' ... too many foundations are eager to keep pushing Charter Schools in the face of more or less their complete failure to out-perform public schools:
"Charters have . . . become a pet cause of what one education historian calls a billionaires’ club of philanthropists, including Mr. Gates, Eli Broad of Los Angeles and the Walton family of Wal-Mart.When is an experiment a failure? Even if we accept the conservative criteria for evaluation - student performance on standardized tests - and even if we control for features that would advantage Charters - like longer school days and more engaged families - the "Charters" seem to be a shining example of a failed experiment.
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."
P.S.: Just an observation: Do the folks at The Times really think that being from the second largest city in the U.S. is equivalent to being from the largest retail chain?