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

Monday, January 04, 2010

New CREDO Study Shows No Charter School Miracles for NYC

New York City's charter schools have plenty of advantages over NYC's red-headed stepchild, the public schools. Most of the charters are in renovated spaces with new equipment and furniture, spiffy new signage, and fresh paint. They enroll smaller percentages of poor students, fewer special education students, and fewer English language learners:
. . . charter schools in New York City have significantly less students eligible for free lunch than public schools. Similarly, charter schools enroll less than 4 percent of English language learners, while public schools enroll a number almost three times more. In North-Central Brooklyn, charter schools enroll 1.3 percent of English language learners, compared with 11.2 percent in public schools. As for special education students, charter schools are enrolling 9.5 percent, while public schools enroll 16.4 percent.
Given these advantages that only Bloomberg's stacked deck and deep pockets can assure, we might expect test scores more in line with the propaganda machine the Joel Klein manages as Schools Overseer. However, a brand new study will be released tomorrow morning showing only 29% of NYC charters outperform the public schools in reading, and barely half of NYC charters outscore the public schools in math. With New York City representing the top of the charter heap, how long will it take for the thrill to be gone on this corporate distraction and waste of public money that continues to block the way to real public school renewal. From the Press Release at Stanford U's CREDO Center:
The CREDO at Stanford report was commissioned at the request of the New York City Department of Education in July 2009, following CREDO’s national report released in June 2009, entitled, “Multiple Choice: Charter School Performance in 16 States.” That report was the first detailed national assessment of charter school impacts. Its longitudinal, student-level analysis covered more than 70 percent of the nation’s students attending charter schools.

Entitled, “Charter School Performance in New York City,” this report drew upon the same methodological approach used for the pooled national study used to measure the effects of charter schooling on student academic performance.

On a school-by-school comparison, the report found that 51 percent of New York City charter schools are showing academic growth in math that is statistically larger than students would have achieved in regular public schools, with 33 percent with no significant difference and 16 percent with significantly lower learning. In reading, the report found that 29 percent of charter schools are showing statistically better gains, with 59 percent with no significant difference and only 12 percent significantly lower. . . . .

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