The latest CREDO (Center for Research on Education Outcomes) study has some interesting perspectives on charter schools,
and the left-wing and teacher unions are ignoring it because…well…charter schools are working and helping “their people”.
The Center for Research on Education OutcomesÂ (CREDO), at Stanford University, has done that in a new study, and it turns out that charters, in general, are strongest exactly where the need is greatestâ€”in urban areas. In some cities, such as Boston, students are achieving six times the growth in math knowledge as are their traditional school counterparts; in reading, four times as much.
The CREDO study also fingers cities where charters are plainly failing, although on average in the 41 urban areas it studied, charter students are clearly outpacing traditional-school peers. Notably, the methodology employed by CREDO seems to rule out the persistent accusation that charter schools get better results merely by â€ścherry-pickingâ€ť abler or more motivated students.
The beauty of charter schools is if they aren’t working, then you simply close them…try doing that with a state school and watch the wombles march inÂ theÂ streets, irrespective of the results achieved by those schools. Every state school is perfect don’t you know.
Although forests have been leveled for all the studies on charter schools, CREDOâ€™s new study took an unusual tack. It studied students in multiple areas of the countryâ€”and exclusively studied urban areas. Three points emerged. When suburban charters were excluded, the smaller average gains registered in previous studies were suddenly magnified. In other words, charters seem to be remedying a particular defect of schools in the most challenged areas. Second, within those schools, gains were greatest among studentsâ€”those in poverty, African-Americans, Hispanics, English-as-a-second-language (ESL) studentsâ€”whose performance typically lags. Disadvantaged students gain the equivalent of months (or more) of extra learning for every year in a charter school.
And the third point was the great divergence among charter organizations (each of which has its own board and often a distinct approach, with varying levels of community engagement). Some are offering a superior alternative; some are not.
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