The Republicans know one thing about their voters; they’re natural born freeloaders, looking for the easy way out, willing to run from the hard work of real solutions. So let’s open some charter schools.
NY Times: The charter school movement has expanded over the last 20 years largely on this promise: If exempted from some state regulations, charters could outperform traditional public schools because they have flexibility and can be more readily tailored to the needs of students. Another selling point; …periodically reviewed … and easily shut down if they fail. It has not worked out that way.
Despite a growing number of studies showing that charter schools, financed with public money and operating in 40 states, are often worse than traditional schools, the state and local organizations that issue charters and oversee the schools are too hesitant to shut them down.
A new study from the National Association of Charter School Authorizers, a nonprofit, pro-charter school organization, found that a smaller percentage of schools are being denied charter renewals. A 2009 study from Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes found that 37 percent of charter schools performed worse on student test measures than their traditional counterparts … closure rates should clearly be higher.
With the rush to run from the problem, states have welcomed charters and vouchers, no questions asked. Because parents are supposedly “demanding” choice, states oddly don’t think taxpayer supported charter and voucher schools should have strict standards. And tight wad conservatives who whine about wasting taxpayer dollars on public schools, are willing to throw their money into choice schools with no accountability. Go figure.
Nearly a third of charter authorizers have not established clear revocation criteria; fewer than half have the kinds of strong, independent review panels the association recommends; and about only half issue annual reports that show the schools how they are doing.