|Senn Principal Susan Lofton|
"We have all been working so hard with our community to bring our schools up, to serve the community, to offer the programs our families want and to really engage in this resurgence where the community has a true community school that is an asset and a partner." -- Senn Principal Susan LoftonAndrew Broy, Chicago's minister of charter propaganda, uses Catalyst to spin a WBEZ report on “freshman retention rate”to support his claim of charter school superiority. He's doing so to try to grease the wheels as one of his clients, Noble Network, makes a move on five north-side high schools,while Rahm's appointed school board tries to walk back its promise that no charters would be allowed to open in any of the 50 schools they closed.
Broy claims that he's looking at data "that has never before been disclosed" -- the number of freshmen who actually went on to earn a diploma from the school they first enrolled in. The first question that should pop into anyone's mind is: why wasn't this "data" ever disclosed? Was it classified? Top secret? The answer of course, is that the data has always been there. It's the spin that changes, depending on who's doing the spinning.
For example, up until now, CPS has always credited high schools (including charters) for graduating students who had left their school as early as the 10th grade. Charters have always used these misleading figures as a way to claim miraculous college-going rates.
More from Broy:
Contrary to the claims of charter opponents [researchers from Stanford and other major research institutions --mk], the results reveal that charter schools are graduating their original cohort of ninth-graders at substantially higher rates than their district counterparts. The average freshman retention rate for charter schools is nearly 10 percentage points higher than the average for district open enrollment schools.But Broy lumps CPS schools into two convenient matched pairs, as if charters were one thing and district schools, something completely different. He excludes district selective enrollment schools on the pretext that charters aren't selective in their enrollment or in their retention policies. That's misleading at best. Charters enroll by lottery meaning, the students they enroll have engaged parents. They are well known for under-enrolling students with disabilities, special needs, homeless, formerly incarcerated students and English language learners.
More importantly, Broy never discusses the things that his charter clients are doing or not doing in different school settings to improve freshman retention rates. Or what's working and what isn't. For him, just being a charter is enough. And therein lies the problem with most charter school research.
But even if you accept WBEZ numbers, here's what you find:
When I asked Broy to clarify, he wouldn't respond and instead someone signing him/herself Confused About Charters and claiming to be a "northside parent" answered the bell.
Confused About Charters
When you instantly attack an article with inflammatory questions that are clearly answered in the article it comes across as extremely biased. It hurts your credibility and makes me much less likely to read through your longer post below where you might have some valid points. All of this bluster makes it harder for a northside parent to have an actual informed opinion.