Thursday, May 11, 2006

Reining in Charter Schools

NYT reported The charter school movement began with the tantalizing promise that independently operated schools would outperform their traditional counterparts — if they could only be exempted from state regulations while receiving public money. It hasn't quite worked out that way. With charter laws now on the books in about 40 states and thousands of schools up and running, the problem has turned out to be too little state oversight, not too much.

The NYT is in the Teacher's Union pocket.
Even states with disastrously low-performing charter systems can point to a handful of outstanding schools.
So at least some kids are getting a better education than they would at public schools.
But several studies have shown that on the whole, charter schools perform no better than other public schools.
But if they are not performing worse, then we should stick with them, because they should be easier to improve.
Beyond that, some states have opened so many charter programs so quickly that they can barely count them,
Maybe the people doing the counting should have attended Charter Schools rather than Public Schools; they might have learned more math.
let alone monitor student performance. Where charters have clearly failed, the states often lack the political will — or even a process — for closing them down.

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