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

Saturday, August 01, 2015

National Journal's Rose Colored Reporting on Texas CREDO Study

by Jim Horn

When the mainstream Washington media finds news on low test scores among public schools, they love to accentuate the negative and to ignore the positive.  On the other hand, when new research about charter schools that can't be ignored comes to the corporate editorial offices, the spinners go to work to do just the opposite.  As in the latest coverage by National Journal of the recent CREDO study on Texas charter schools. The study's press release begins with this: 

"The results of CREDO's Texas report shows that on average, charter schools in Texas show less progress in both reading and mathematics compared to their district school peers."

Below are the study's main findings released July 22, 2015:

Now there is a star beside the second bullet point because this is the only possible good news in the CREDO report, and it is exactly the one that National Journal (NJ) embellishes to promote the kind of lockdown paternalist charters embraced by corporate and political elites.  NJ's headline reads, "Charter Schools Are Especially Good for ELL Students."

Not surprisingly, NJ's main source to spin their story to benefit segregated charter schools is Steve Mancini, the mouthpiece for KIPP, Inc.  Steve can always be counted on to offer an Orwellian response to any bad news about any of the chain gangs in the No Excuses charter system. Loss is victory, weakness is power, ignorance is knowledge, etc.

The problem with NJ's story about the "good news" for ELLs is that their turd polishing brings attention to another problem at Texas charters.  As Ed Fuller documented in 2014, high flying charter systems like KIPP and Harmony enroll a much smaller percentage of the ELLs, special needs, and low income students by 6th grade than do the public schools in the same districts. These findings are consistent with Miron's research from 2011:

A few Fuller charts below:

We may only imagine how bad Texas charters would look if they enrolled the enrolled the low test performers and problem students that they carefully screen and ditch along the way toward 8th grade.

The question then for the charter chain gang operators: Why are the KIPPs and Yes Preps saying "no" to enrolling more ELL students if, indeed, they are doing such a superior job in educating these children? 

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:39 PM

    Accepting only the most English proficient ELLs is the charter game. What would they do with new arrivals from war torn countries with interrupted schooling or no schooling at all? Those cases are reserved for public school ESL teachers who welcome all who turn up on the school door steps.

    Abigail Shure