Thursday, March 31, 2005

Why is it that when evidence doesn't fit, it doesn't seem to matter?

As the nation's public education system lurches towards privatization and 'choice', it seems fitting to remind ourselves once again the narrative of the charter school 'ideology' trumps evidence.

Derrick Jackson's oped, Charter Schools Troubled Waters, reminds us again that the reality just doesn't fit the charter school hype.
By definition, the comparisons debunk the charter school movement's trashing of teachers unions and the claim that if you get ''bureaucracy" out of the schools, you will get better schools.

Not only did Mishel, Carnoy, and coauthors Rebecca Jacobsen and Richard Rothstein of Columbia find that charter schools do not generate higher student achievement in general or the educational performance of central city, low-income minority children in particular, they also found that charter schools are associated with increased school segregation. And they found minimal accountability. Despite their inability to show across-the-board improvement, fewer than 1 percent of charter schools have been shut down for academic failure.
More segregation, minimal accountability, if you directly compare the same population, see no difference in achievement.

Gee. Sure doesn't sound like these are better schools to me.