With guest, Louder Than a Bomb poet Nate Marshall

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bad news once again for the charter school lobby

While Arne Duncan continues to push charters as point number-one at the top of his reform agenda, even going so far as to threaten school districts with loss of stim dollars if they fail to comply, the evidence keeps pouring in showing charters nationwide, badly lagging behind or a best breaking even when compared to regular public schools.

The latest hard-to-swallow research pill for Duncan and the private charter lobbyists comes out of Stanford's Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) in a study ironically paid for largely by pro-charter conservatives like the Walton and Dell Foundations.

Looking at 2,403 charter schools in 15 states and the District of Columbia, CREDO'S researchers found that students in more than 80 percent of charter schools either performed the same as—or worse than—students in traditional public schools on mathematics tests.
“If this study shows anything, it shows that we’ve got a two-to-one margin of bad charters to good charters,” said Margaret E. Raymond, the director of the center and the study’s lead author. “That’s a red flag.” (Edweek)
Making matters worse, the study found that African-American and Hispanic students, in other words, the very students who fill nearly all the the seats in most urban school districts, were found to do worse in charter schools.

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