"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Monday, June 22, 2009

New York Times Waits for Duncan Response Before Printing Charter School News

It just took the lawyers and consultants at the Education Department a week to come up with a response to the sobering, smack-down research news for the corporate welfare charter school crusade And, of course, the Times would publish no news of the study until a crafted response from the Oligarchs' lapdog, Arne Duncan, was issued (only for New York Times education writers).

Dunc will now call for strict accountablility, it seems, but, per usual, he offers no clue, cash, or, otherwise, vague hint for how such a plan for oversight or accountability might work. Oh yes, I forgot, too many details on oversight or accountability might cripple the entrepreneurial spirit that is driving the charter innovation and plutocratic inspired pedagogy further and furhter, it would seem, into bygone eras.

The relevant parts:
. . . .The Stanford study, by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes, used student achievement data from 15 states and the District of Columbia to gauge whether students who attended charter schools had fared better than they would if they had attended a traditional public school.

“The study reveals that a decent fraction of charter schools, 17 percent, provide superior education opportunities for their students,” the report says. “Nearly half of the charter schools nationwide have results that are no different from the local public school options, and over a third, 37 percent, deliver learning results that are significantly worse than their students would have realized had they remained in traditional public schools.”

Reports on charter schools often arouse impassioned debates, because charter schools in some cities have drawn millions of dollars in taxpayer money away from traditional public schools, and because many operate with nonunion teachers. The Stanford study was no exception; some charter school advocates asserted that it was slanted to favor traditional public schools.

Nelson Smith, president of the charter school alliance, said that the authors of the Stanford study could have phrased their findings more positively, with no loss of accuracy, but that he considered the center a “very credible outfit” and its director, Margaret Raymond, “an esteemed researcher.” . . . .

1 comment:

  1. "CREDO gratefully acknowledges the support of the following organizations
    for this project:
    • The State Education Agencies and School Districts who contributed their data to this
    • Michael & Susan Dell Foundation
    • The Packard Humanities Institute
    • The Walton Family Foundation
    • United States Department of Education"

    I'd love to have heard the response from the Dell's and the Walton's. Think they'll be so willing to fund future CREDO projects?