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

Friday, July 02, 2010

Major Newspapers Ignore National Study Showing Charters No Better Than Public Schools

It took the Washington Post almost 6 months and the New York Times 10 months to report any news of the national study in 2009 that showed the Obama charter solution as a policy loser even before it got steamrolling.  It has rolled on, anyway.  It will be interesting to see how long it will take the most recent large-scale research to get reported, another that shows again charters no better than the public schools.

So far, the Christian Science Monitor and the Washington Times are the only papers of any national prominence to print anything on the findings. From WT:
A study of middle school students in charter schools in 15 states has found that they generally performed no better in math and reading than other public school students. . . .
. . . .This study adds to a growing body of evidence on this important policy issue," said John Q. Easton, director of the Institute of Education Sciences in the Department of Education, which commissioned the study.

"This report helps us make sense of previous charter school studies that have generated a wide range of findings," said Philip M. Gleason, senior fellow at Mathematica and lead author of the study.
The findings, the first of their kind on such a scale, involved 2,330 middle school students at 36 charter schools in 15 states. The charter schools were popular enough to use lotteries to decide which students would be admitted.
The study compared outcomes of students who attended the schools (lottery winners) and children who applied but were not admitted (lottery losers) and typically went back to their neighborhood schools.
"We found that the average charter school did not have positive impacts on students' math or reading achievement," Mr. Gleason said. . . .

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