As we move towards yet another BESE deliberation on what to do with the Gloucester Community Arts Charter School, and the Legislature contemplates expanding charters in the Commonwealth, there is new support for the notion that charters ain’t all they’s cracked up to be….
You have to sign in to view the whole article, but in today’s Washington Post there is an article outlining a Stanford University study on the efficacy of Arizona’s rampant Charter School system… As expected and in contrast to the pro-charter propaganda, there is not compelling evidence that charters perform any better, much less out-perform regular public schools. In the article it notes: “Through test scores, Arizona rates about 24 percent of charter schools as “excelling” or “highly performing.” About 37 percent of regular public schools win those marks.”
Better we should invest properly in public schools for ALL children rather than engage in what I believe will end up being viewed as a “fad” — an unfortunate and consequential fad — by the time our children are wrestling with the education issue of our grandkids.
A taste of the article:
Arizona’s flourishing charter school movement underscores the popular appeal of unfettered school choice and the creativity of some educational entrepreneurs. But the state also offers a cautionary lesson as President Obama pushes to dismantle barriers to charter schools elsewhere: It is difficult to promote quantity and quality at the same time.
Under a 1994 law that strongly favors charter schools, 500 of them operate in this state, teaching more than 100,000 students. Those totals account for a quarter of Arizona’s public schools and a tenth of its public school enrollment, giving charters a larger market share here than in any other state.
But a Stanford University research institute reported in June that Arizona charter students did not show as much academic progress as their peers in traditional public schools. Charter backers dispute the study’s methods and findings but agree that schools vary widely in quality.
“There are some excellent, excellent charter schools in Arizona,” said Margaret Raymond, director of the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford. “There’s a good, strong cluster of really high-performing schools. There are a whole bunch that are mucking around [in the middle], and a big cluster that are not doing well.”