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Monday, February 15, 2010

Charter Schools What's the Deal

THE GUARDIAN would like to share this info with readers. Charter schools seem all the rage with parents and here is an authoritative research finding to debunk popular thinking on charter schools.

Center for Research on Education Outcomes

"The most authoritative study of charter schools was conducted by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University in 2009. The report is the first detailed national assessment of charter schools. It analyzed 70% of the nation's students attending charter schools and compared the academic progress of those students with that of demographically matched students in nearby public schools. The report found that 17% of charter schools reported academic gains that were significantly better than traditional public schools; 46% showed no difference from public schools; and 37% were significantly worse than their traditional public school counterparts. The authors of the report considering this a "sobering" finding about the quality of charter schools in the U.S. Charter schools showed a significantly greater variation in quality as compared with the more standardized public schools with many falling below public school performances and a few exceeding them significantly. Results vary for various demographics with Black and Hispanic children not doing as well as they would in public schools, but with children from poverty backgrounds, students learning English, and brighter students doing better; average students do poorer. While the obvious solution to the widely varying quality of charter schools would be to close those who perform below the level of public schools, this is hard to accomplish in practice as even a poor school has its supporters."


  1. Charter schools are not a good deal for the taxpayer. My three kids all went to public schools in Caldwell and got an excellent prep for college. Parental involvement, the schools, teachers and a child willing to open their mind and put forth some effort along the way will get results.

    One real problem with schools is not every kid wants, expects or can afford to go beyond high school. Most high schools are geared for college prep and that is simply wrong and works to enhance the dropout rate. Tech/Trade skills need to be taught in high school along with the life skills to survive the cold hard reality daily living.

  2. Charter schools in Idaho could become the 21st Century's iteration of segregation. Canyon County charter schools overwhelmingly do not have student body compositions that match up with the communities they serve. Hispanic population in traditional Canyon County schools has got to be close to 40 to 50 %. Do charter schools in Canyon County serve these kids in like proportions? No. Is that because their parents don't care about their kids' education and are uninvolved? Certainly not. It's because charter schools have failed to make an honest effort at recruiting underrepresented students. And charter schools are just fine with that.

  3. Despite the study's negative results, I don't believe that they are an accurate picture of what a charter school really does for a community. Charter schools are actually one of the truest examples of capitalism. Public Schools actually have a monopoly of public funds and have very little incentive to change and better themselves.

    The reason that canyon county's charter school's seem racist is because Caldwell School District has pretty much black balled any charter schools that have attempted to get started here. Not only that charter schools are started by parents and educators who want something different. There doesn't seem to be any parents really interested in putting there necks out for one here in Caldwell. I have attempted to initiate one in the past with lack luster results at best. I think a bi-lingual charter school would be a incredible addition to our community and would fit our demographics.


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