Sunday, September 16, 2012

Charter and Voucher school success Measured by Enrollment, not Grades!!

Almost all the media coverage surrounding charter schools, oddly steers clear of their successes and failures, and focuses mostly on their increased enrollment.  And it’s always deceptively packaged it as an educational “sign of success.”

Make it your own test as well, when you read articles about charter and voucher schools.

A perfect example made its way into Education Week recently. Look for any mention of grades. Click on the PDF link, and again, look for any mention of grades. Nothing. In fact, the report touts the closure of charter schools as a good thing, because that’s what should happen to bad schools.

That’s sound right, but is it? While failing public schools are constantly being monitored and helped, charters are left to eventually fail or stay in business until rumor gets out about their actual effectiveness. Is that an acceptable model for parents, knowing their child just wasted 1, 2 or 3 years in a failing school? Those are years that can’t be made up. Besides slick brochures, how does a parent really know?

Again, read how deceptively the following article states its case for charter schools:
 Is New Orleans a Model for America?: By David Osborne

Since charter schools were invented in Minnesota two decades ago, they have grown into one of the more important public-policy innovations in many states. Last year, approximately Description: Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader 2 million children—roughly 4 percent of all public school students—attended 5,600 charter schools, in 40 states and the District of Columbia.

Yet in most places, charter schools remain a positive innovation around the edges of a struggling public school system. Some reformers have argued for years that charters should become the system , that we should treat every public school like a charter. With parental choice, freedom from most district rules and constraints, and accountability for performance, charters simply represent a better way to organize public education—or so the argument goes.

Over the past seven years, New Orleans has conducted the nation's first serious test of this proposition, and the results could well shake the...
The rest of the article was off limits for non-subscribers like me, but after checking the PDF link, it was clear that a charter schools success had nothing to do with grades, and everything to do with enrollment.

Let’s call it what it really is; advertising. Can you afford to make a bad "choice?"

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