Skip to comments.Exploding the Charter School Myth
Posted on 08/27/2006 10:29:48 PM PDT by Jacob KellEdited on 08/27/2006 10:34:36 PM PDT by Admin Moderator. [history]
A federal study showing that fourth graders in charter schools score worse in reading and math than their public school counterparts should cause some soul-searching in Congress.
Too many lawmakers seem to believe that the only thing wrong with American education is the public school system, and that converting lagging schools to charter schools would cause them to magically improve.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Is a NY Times Alert the same as a barf alert?
Charter school students score lower in reading and math
Here's another similar thread that was posted 8/22/06.
Meaningless unless you know where the charter schools are located and the demographics.
We are looking into a charter school for next year that will be starting up in 2007. We are hoping to get in but there may be too many families applying. There's one established charter school not too far from us that has fantastic numbers as far as their students' achievement in reading and math.
As long as the National Assessment of Educational Progress test is fair, then the way to go is to publish the results in EACH school district and let the chips fall where they may.
I have seen several charter schools fail in Phoenix and several flourish. The difference between charter schools and public is that the public schools can't fail and therefore, won't go away when they don't do the job.
It would be interesting to see the public school scores for an area where charter schools are employed. Specifically, the public school scores compared to their scores after the charter schools went in.
I also believe that some charter schools have been taking on students who did not do well in the public schools. Perhaps they are working with the problem kids.
There is more to this than just a head-to-head comparison of charter to public schools. I am always suspicious of the simplistic use of statistics.
Another charter school thread.
Hard to say with the NY Times. They lying again? Who knows?
What do I think??? We obviously need more federal intervention and control. Locals just don't have a clue how to educate budding socialists.
A few thoughts:
1. If it was previously assumed that charter schools performed better, I'm sure the authors didn't see that as a reason to act against traditional public schools, so they can't very well yell for a rope now.
2. Since it's a "federal study" a certain amount of bias in favor of a government controlled "solution" is probably to be assumed.
3. Can we see the study? How do we know this isn't the only result out of ten in the study that favors govt. schools, and so the only one receiving any air time?
4. Since the public schools are doing so great, I assume we can tear up all their applications for more money.
If a school district takes federal money, then they have to dance to the Fed tune. Many, many school districts can't survive without Federal money without raising property taxes.
fourth graders in charter schools score worse in reading and math than their public school counterparts
I don't believe it for a moment.
By design I suspect. The number I've heard but haven't verify is that public shools on average receive about 8% of their funds from the feral gummint. That's not much, but apparently enough to make the locals toe the line. To the detriment of schooling generally, I submit.
I daresay I went to schools that didn't receive a dime of feral monies. This was of course a long time ago. Regardless, the federal leviathian has been usurping state and local constitutionally guaranteed authority almost since the beginning. One of the ways to pull that off is by confiscating taxes from our paychecks and spreading it around to agreeable parties. Those that would fill our future generations' heads with mush never sleep.
Wealthy school districts see little if any federal funds. Any school district that wants is free to go it alone.
It's not a great argument to go hat in hand to DC and then complain when the money comes with strings attached.
My daughter started Kindergarten at a charter school and she has learned a lot. She is now in 7th grade. I work at her school and may be able to help you with your questions.
The pro's of a charter school are a tight knit school community, a lot of parental involvement, a school willing to listen to your concerns, the staff will know you and your child, and having a choice in your child's education.
Some cons: More involvement is expected of the parents, younger and less experienced teachers in the beginning, less money, and fewer class and activity choices at the middle school level. There are quite a number of charter schools in Colorado. Look for one that you think will fit your children. Also, if you don't mind driving a little further, look at the charters in other districts. There are many out there, some good, some not so good. Since you're looking at a new charter school, they won't have a track record on testing. Find what programs they will be using. Research them. Ask questions specific to the curriculum and how it will fit your child. If he is ahead or behind how will they accomodate his needs. One other thing, any school that you would remotely consider sending your child to, get his name on the list now. Some use a lottery system and some do first come, first served.
Here, I think charters are only available to those who work with handicapped students.
B.S. story started by teacher unions no doubt.I believe the last couple of spelling bee winners were from charter or home schooled. Anything is better than A Government school.
I am sorry. It is the Jason Blair times. Until it is confirmed by independent sources the crediblity of anything "reported" by the NY Slimes is expected to be more propganda then fact.
There is also ONE charter school that serves middle class kids. The parents in a gentrifying intown neighborhood fought for years to get the school and (when the old building was nearly destroyed by fire) to keep it open. Basically, it is parent-run, and the parents are people who know what their kids need. The school board would have loved to shut the operation down, but the parents had too much clout, so the school continues the flourish.
I suspect a study of the "charter schools" in the city would confirm the findings the Times is crowing about--the "charter schools" aren't doing any better than the public schools. But that's because not all charter schools are equivalent.
Excellent overview of the pros and cons of charter schools, Betty Jane.
My two oldest sons go to a charter school, and my experience is much as you described.
Parental involvement is mandatory at my son's school: the parents have to perform a minimum of 20 documented volunteer hours per school year. If they don't do it, their children are not allowed to return the following year. Children who are serious discipline problems are not allowed to return the following year. There are strict policies on absences, tardies, and uniforms, and failure to follow them results in your child not being allowed to return the following year.
Because the charter school doesn't get as much money per pupil as the public schools, we do have *constant* fundraisers, though.
Now that the school is established (in its sixth year of operation) it is having an easier time getting experienced teachers. I think that the pay may be a little lower than the local public schools, but many teachers find it worth the lower income to be able to *teach* and to have parents who are involved and supportive.
My oldest son's teacher is a very experienced teacher who just moved to our area; her prior experience is entirely in public schools. She positively gushes about the parental involvement and help, the smaller class sizes, and especially the manners and attitudes of the kids.
I have often said that the very best thing about this school is that every child there wants to learn. (The ones with bad attitudes generally get weeded out quickly by the tough disciplinary policies.) As a result, the school is able to employ a more demanding curriculum and the vast majority of the kids succeed at it.
Last year 96% of the school's third graders passed the reading portion of the FCAT (Florida's state-mandated assessment test, which kids must pass to be promoted to fourth grade.) I believe 94% passed the math portion. Needless to say, those pass rates are far above the state and school district averages.
On the other hand, I have seen shoddy charter schools - just as there are shoddy public schools, and shoddy private schools. As a parent, you must do your homework - thoroughly research any school you are considering sending your child to!
I think they're lying through their teeth .. as usual.
I thought this study was debunked by someone, it believe it had the NEA and unions fingerprints all over it. Can't remember where the link was...
More stories etc.. on charter schools:
"Charter school advocates denounced the new federal study even before it was released and took issue with its methodology, which is not perfect. But this study does not stand alone. The evidence so far shows that charter schools are not inherently superior to the traditional public schools they often seek to supplant and that they are sometimes worse."
Charter schools typically cater to lower income, or troubled students, which I think is why they were ranked 'worse;, despite indviidual student improvmenet.
Then they hired a ding-bat principal to do their bidding. The first year the socialite moms were able to talk several corporations, and a public utility into donating things such as a 12,000 square foot science lab, a commercial size green house, field trips to Washington,DC, and Seattle,WA.
For the charter school's second year, it was decided to send all the 5th graders on a field trip to an African nation beset with a civil war. The purpose of the trip was for the children to be peace ambassadors. The dingbat principal and his well-coiffed followers was to have the children teach the principles of peace to a ruthless dictator and his cronies.
The school district fired the principal, when he booked forty + airline tickets with the school credit card. The enrollment at the school consisted mainly of filthy rich families, with just a few politically correct minority children. Somehow ordinary lower and middle class children never had their names drawn from the enrollment lottery. Another nearby charter school (4th - 6th grades) was labeled for gifted children. But the school's definition of gifted was both flexible and mysterious. One child, a professor's son, had serious behavior and academic difficulties, and he was selected. Two extremely bright (IQ above 130), well-motivated students were not selected. One was the daughter of an accountant, and the other was the son of a maintenance man.
Some charters are for kids failing, and some are for schools that are failing teaching regular kids.
As someone pointed out earlier, if a charter school fails it closes. Regular public schools can fail and still be kept open.
If parents keep on selecting a certain charter school, then maybe the parents know something that the test scores are showing. Maybe their kid has dyslexia, and will always do poor on reading tests. However at the charter school, he can still participate in other activities.
I love school choice!!!! The more choices the better.
We have gifted and talented kids and we have IEP kids. We ability group our classes so each kid gets what he needs. We have kids workng one to three grade levels above in some classes and some kids one to two grade levels below in some classes. If they are too far behind, we hold them back.
We have had kids come to us who can not read in 5th & 6th grade. That kid will be reading at grade level in two years if he and his parents commit to doing it. We give him the tools to do it. It's amazing to watch a 12 year old's pride when he tells you about the first book he read by himself.
We don't take other schools' discipline problems. The students who come to us have parents who want them there. This is a school of choice. If they don't like the uniforms or the structure they're free to go elsewhere. It makes for a much more conducive learning environment.
We tried to get into a local charter that several of our friends are going to. It was full, so we went to private school.
Several of my friends and I also tried to start a charter, but we couldn't get enough support.
I love the idea of charter schools, and I hope the movement continues.
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