Tag Archives: Charter School

Stanford University study: Urban charter schools outperform public peers

29 Mar

Moi supports neighborhood schools which cater to the needs of the children and families in that neighborhood. A one-size-fits-all approach does not work in education. It is for this reason that moi supports charter schools which are regulated by strong charter school legislation with accountability. Accountability means different things to different people. In 2005 Sheila A. Arens wrote Examining the Meaning of Accountability: Reframing the Construct for Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning which emphasizes the involvement of parents and community members. One of the goals of the charter movement is to involve parents and communities.
Business Week has a concise debate about the pros and cons of charter schools featuring Jay P. Greene, University of Arkansas; Manhattan Institute arguing the pro position and Jeffrey Henig, Columbia University arguing against charter schools. http://www.businessweek.com/debateroom/archives/2008/03/charter_schools.html The Education Commission of the States succinctly lists the pros and cons of charter schools http://www.ecs.org/html/issuesection.asp?issueid=20&s=pros+%26+cons

Abby Jackson reported in the Business Insider article, The results of a new Stanford University study could surprise charter school critics:

Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) has a new study out finding urban charter schools outperform traditional public schools (TPS) in urban areas.
The results are the latest in mounting evidence that many charter schools provide tremendous benefit to students — particularly those located in urban areas.
“The charter school sector has gotten to a point of maturity where it’s dominated by established charters that have stood the test of time and are operating a lot more efficiently and effectively for kids, and so we’re starting to see now this general positive impact of charters on student achievement,” Patrick Wolf, PH.D., a distinguished professor in the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas, told Business Insider…. http://www.businessinsider.com/the-results-of-a-new-stanford-university-study-should-quiet-charter-school-critics-2015-3#ixzz3Vpm3kUip

Here is the press release from Stanford:

CREDO Study Finds Urban Charter Schools Outperform Traditional School Peers
STANFORD, Calif. – March 18, 2015 – Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO), the nation’s foremost independent analyst of charter school effectiveness, released today a comprehensive Urban Charter Schools Report and 22 state-specific reports that combine to offer policymakers unprecedented insight into the effectiveness of charter schools.
“One of our largest research efforts to date, this study targets our focus on charter schools in urban areas because these are communities where students have faced significant education challenges and are in great need of effective approaches to achieve academic success,” said Dr. Margaret Raymond, director of CREDO at Stanford University. “This research shows that many urban charter schools are providing superior academic learning for their students, in many cases quite dramatically better. These findings offer important examples of school organization and operation that can serve as models to other schools, including both public charter schools and traditional public schools.”
Across 41 regions, urban charter schools on average achieve significantly greater student success in both math and reading, which amounts to 40 additional days of learning growth in math and 28 days of additional growth in reading. Compared to the national profile of charter school performance, urban charters produce more positive results. CREDO’s National Charter School Study results in 2013 found that charter schools provided seven additional days of learning per year in reading and no significant difference in math.
Similar to the results in the National Charter School Study in 2013, the Urban Charter School report found local variation in the results. Across the 41 regions, more than twice as many urban regions show their charter schools outpacing their district school counterparts than regions where charter school results lag behind them. Despite the overall positive learning impacts, there are still urban communities in which the majority of the charter schools have smaller learning gains compared to their traditional school counterparts.
Summary of urban charter regions
MATH
• 26 urban charter sectors have positive impacts
• 11 urban charter sectors have smaller learning gains
• 4 urban charter sectors provide similar levels of growth. READING
• 23 urban charter sectors have positive impacts
• 10 urban charter sectors have smaller learning gains
• 8 urban charter sectors provide similar levels of growth
The Center for Research on Education Outcomes
434 Galvez Mall, Stanford, CA 94305-6010
Telephone: 650.725.3431

Here is an overview of the study:

Overview of the Urban Charter School Study
Welcome to the digital report of the Urban Charter School Study. This website has been developed to host the results of CREDO’s study of charter schools in 41 urban communities in the United States. This overview introduces the approach of the research project and explains the layout of the reports that are available on this site.
Through our valued data sharing partnerships with state education agencies across the country, CREDO has a unique opportunity to look at the urban landscape of charter schooling. Since urban education is a topic of strong concern among parents and policy makers, we hope a concentrated study of the presence and performance of charter schools in urban settings can provide a useful contribution to on-going efforts to successfully educate all urban K-12 students.
Moreover, we recognize that a study of this type will attract different kinds of interest — some more global and some decidedly local in scope. The reports on this site aim to maximize access to the full set of analytic findings in a manner that would not be possible in a traditionally-formatted report. All the reports are created as Adobe Acrobat .pdf files to ensure universal compatibility. (If a download of Adobe Acrobat is needed, click here.)
The Urban Charter School Study covers 41 urban communities in 22 states, which were chosen on the basis of a set of criteria described in the Technical Appendix. The study found that the typical student in an urban charter school receives the equivalent of 40 additional days of learning growth (0.055 s.d.’s) in math and 28 days of additional growth (0.039 s.d.’s) in reading compared to their matched peers in TPS. The results were found to be positive for nearly all student subgroups, but especially strong for students who are minority and in poverty, who are a signficant portion of the urban student population. These national findings are presented in the Urban Charter School Study Executive Summary and in graphic form in the Urban Charter School Study Workbook.
The results also show there is surprising variation in the performance or charter schools in differing urban communities. We developed individual in-depth reports for the urban regions included in the national analysis. These region-specific results are grouped by state and are presented in a Demographic Landscape slide deck and a Charter School Impacts slide deck. A User’s Guide is available to walk the user through the Impact slides and explain how each question was answered. http://urbancharters.stanford.edu/overview.php

There is no one approach that works in every situation, there is only what works to address the needs of a particular population of children. If the goal is that ALL children receive a good basic education, then ALL options must be available.

Resources:

1. YouTube Link of Professor Carolyn Hoxby Discussing Charters

2. PBS Frontline – The Battle Over School Choice

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/vouchers/howbad/crisis.html

3. WSJ’s opinion piece about charters and student performance

http://www.wsj.com/article_email/SB10001424052970204488304574429203296812582-lMyQjAxMDA5MDIwNTEyNDUyWj.html

4. Charter School Students More Likely to Graduate and Attend College

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090318104332.htm

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University of Arkansas report: Charter school funding inequity expands

1 May

Charter schools invoke passion on both sides of the argument as to whether they constitute good public policy. A good analysis of the issues can be found at Public Policy Forum Charter Schools: Issues and Outlooks presented by Judy Doesschate and William Lake http://www.rockinst.org/pdf/public_policy_forums/2007-03-28-public_policy_forum_charter_schools_issues_and_outlook_presented_by_judy_doesschate_and_william_lake.pdf Another good summary of the arguments for and against school choice can be found at Learning Matters analysis which came from the PBS program , News Hour. In DISCUSS: Is School Choice Good Or Bad For Public Education? several educators examine school choice issues. http://learningmatters.tv/blog/web-series/discuss-is-school-choice-good-or-bad-for-public-education/8575/

The National Education Policy Center examined one aspect of the charter school debate, the question of equitable funding between charters and public schools. The conclusion is the data does not support one conclusion. Here is the press release:

Contact: Bruce Baker, (732) 932-7496, x8232, bruce.baker@gse.rutgers.edu
William J. Mathis, (802) 383-0058, wmathis@sover.net
URL for this press release: http://tinyurl.com/d8dlmeb
BOULDER, CO (May 3, 2012) — Do charter schools live up to their supporters’ claim that they deliver a better education for less money?
While previous research has focused on the first half of that claim – education quality — a new report published by the National Education Policy Center examines the second half – what charters spend.
Schools operated by major charter management organizations (CMOs) generally spend more than surrounding public schools, according to Spending by the Major Charter Management Organizations: Comparing Charter School & Local Public District Financial Resources in New York, Ohio and Texas.
The finding is significant, especially when programs such as the U.S. Department’s “Race to the Top” are directing more resources to charters deemed to be successful. The NEPC report presents new research on this question by Rutgers University Education Professor Bruce Baker, working with University of Colorado Boulder doctoral students Ken Libby and Kathryn Wiley. The research team examined spending in New York City, Ohio and Texas.
“Charter school finances are hard to measure,” says Baker. “Charters generally receive both public and private funds. Also, in-kind assistance and resources from districts and states to charters vary greatly. Yet we can see that the most successful charters, such as KIPP and the Achievement First schools, have substantially deeper pockets than nearby traditional schools.”
The report explains that most studies highlighting or documenting a successful charter school have sidestepped or downplayed cost implications while focusing on specific programs and strategies in those schools. The broad conclusion across these studies is that charter schools or traditional public schools can produce dramatic improvements to student outcomes in the short- and long-term by implementing “no excuses” strategies and perhaps wrap-around services. Most charter school studies conclude that these strategies either come with potentially negligible costs, or that higher costs, if any, are worthwhile since they yield a substantial return.
But according to Spending by the Major Charter Management Organizations, a “marginal expense” may be larger than it sounds. An additional $1,837 expense in Houston for a KIPP charter school, where the average middle school operating expenditure per pupil is $7,911, equals a 23 to 30 percent cost increase.
“A 30 percent increase in funding is a substantial increase by most people’s definition,” says Baker.
The study compares per-pupil spending of charter schools operated by CMOs to the spending in nearby district schools. The report’s authors examined three years of data, including information on school-level spending per pupil, school size, grade ranges and student populations served. For charter schools, the report’s authors drew spending data from government (and authorizer) reports as well as IRS non-profit financial filings (IRS 990s). Notably, the data from these two different sources matched only for New York City; the data reported for Texas and Ohio from the two sources varied considerably.
The study found many high-profile charter network schools to be outspending similar district schools in New York City and Texas. But it also found instances where charter network schools are spending less than similar district schools, particularly in Ohio. In Ohio, charters across the board spend less than district schools in the same city.
In contrast, KIPP, Achievement First and Uncommon Schools charter schools in New York City, spend substantially more ($2,000 to $4,300 per pupil) than similar district schools. Given that the average spending per pupil was around $12,000 to $14,000 citywide, a nearly $4,000 difference in spending amounts to an increase of some 30 percent.
Similarly, some charter chains in Texas, such as KIPP, spend substantially more per pupil than district schools in the same city and serving similar populations. In some Texas cities (and at the middle school level), these charters spend around 30 to 50 percent more based on state reported current expenditures. If the data from IRS filings are used, these charters are found to spend 50 to 100 percent more.
The National Education Policy Center (NEPC) at the University of Colorado Boulder produced Spending by the Major Charter Management Organizations: Comparing Charter School & Local Public District Financial Resources in New York, Ohio and Texas, with funding from the Albert Shanker Institute (http://www.shankerinstitute.org/) and from the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice (http://www.greatlakescenter.org).

A study by the University of Arkansas will continue the debate.

Blogger Alyssa Morones posted the Education Week article, Charter Schools Receive Inequitable Funding, Says Report:

When it comes to public school funding, charters are getting the short end of the stick, researchers from the University of Arkansas say in a new report. The truth behind the numbers, though, remains up for debate.
The report, Charter School Funding: Inequity Expands, examines funding inequities that exist for public charter students, according to Nina Rees, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. According to the report, traditional public schools receive an average of $3,059 per pupil more than traditional charter schools—a gap that’s larger in urban areas. This gap has increased by more than 54 percent between 2007 and 2011.
The inequity is caused mostly by differences in state-level funding, according to the report.
“The underlying causes of state funding and inequities are structural in nature,” said Jay May, a researcher at the University of Arkansas, in an interview with Education Week.
Dollars that flow outside of the funding formula or funds from city agencies that charters cannot access are two contributors to funding disparities.
“For me, this is a matter of equity,” said Larry Maloney, also a researcher. “Particularly when you look at the type of students in charters. They’re not the elite of our country. They are students with high need.”
While the disparities in funding reported by the study are the aggregate of a number of sources, the researchers call on states in particular to close these gaps. State practices that widen the funding gaps include denying charters some funding distributed to traditional public schools in the state funding formula, prohibitions on access to local funding, and reduced or no access to public facility funding.
The issue of charter funding and the disparities that exist may be even more complicated than the report makes out, though….
According to Miron, charter schools already have a cost advantage not captured and explained by the data present in the report….
In fact, in his previous studies, Miron found that charters actually have a cost advantage, because charters do not have to provide the same services or have the same expenditures as traditional public schools.Transportation costs, for example, are an area in which charters have a funding advantage. Districts are required to provide student transportation while charters are not.
Miron also iIsagreed with the report’s claim that charters do not receive more private and philanthropic funds than traditional public schools. In order to get a more accurate picture, he said, researchers must look at data beyond the federal data set, for which most charters reported zero dollars under private revenues.
Miron said that tax forms and school audits he examined in his own research revealed considerable money that comes into charters—money that the federal data did not reveal, in large part because the money was being received and spent by separate foundations or trusts established to serve a specific charter.
“The report is drawing a very big conclusion on very big and incomplete data,” he said. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/charterschoice/2014/05/charter_schools_receive_inequitable_funding_says_report.html

Center for Education Reform commented in Charter Funding: Inequity Expands:

Charter schools receive significantly less per-pupil funding than traditional public schools, according to an April 2014 study from the University of Arkansas. On average, charter schools receive 28.4 percent less for each student than their traditional counterparts, amounting to $3,814 less per year. Over time, the funding disparity between districts and charter schools has increased by 54 percent in eight years, as charter enrollment has continued to grow. Funding gaps vary from state to state, but researchers found that the gap is widest at the local level, where on average charter schools receive $1,780 per pupil from local sources, compared with $5,230 received by traditional schools. Moreover, there is overwhelming evidence that state funding inequities are structural in nature, and charter funding can’t possibly be resolved without starting over. These findings validate those from the 2014 Survey of America’s Charter Schools, which reported that charter schools receive on average 36 percent less revenue than their traditional school counterparts. http://www.edreform.com/2014/01/survey-of-americas-charter-schools/ The University of Arkansas study is current up to the 2010-11 school year, and researchers collected, reviewed and audited financial statements from 30 states plus the District of Columbia. – See more at: http://www.edreform.com/2014/04/charter-funding-inequity-expands/#sthash.SEYZUwnA.dpuf http://www.edreform.com/2014/04/charter-funding-inequity-expands/

Citation:

Research report: Charter School Funding: Inequity Expands
Download Full Report http://www.uaedreform.org/wp-content/uploads/charter-funding-inequity-expands.pdf

Report Appendices http://www.uaedreform.org/wp-content/uploads/charter-funding-inequity-expands-appendices.pdf

Conversion Charter Schools: Do They Impact Financial Analysis http://www.uaedreform.org/wp-content/uploads/charter-funding-conversion-charter-impact.pdf

Here is the press release from the National Association for Public Charter Schools:

New Report Finds Charter Schools Receive Significantly Lower Funding than Other Public Schools
Average per pupil funding gap reaches $3,509
4/30/2014
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the University of Arkansas released a report that shows public charter schools now receive $3,509 less per pupil than traditional public schools. Charter Funding: Inequity Expands reveals the disparity is greatest in major cities and that the funding gap has grown in recent years.
“This report is a stark reminder of the funding inequity that exists for public charter school students,” said Nina Rees, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. “One in 20 children in America now attends a public charter school and there is no justifiable reason why their schools should receive fewer dollars than other public schools. What makes this particularly frustrating is that the disparity continues to grow, rising by nearly 55 percent over the past eight years. We must remind state and local leaders of the impact their policy decisions have on our students and work to ensure we are closing this funding gap.”
The report, based on data from Fiscal Year 2011, found state funding deficits ranged from $365 in New Mexico to as much as $12,736 in Washington, D.C. In urban areas the disparity was greatest – on average traditional public schools received $4,352 more per pupil than charter schools. The report also found that public charter schools received fewer private and philanthropic donations per pupil than traditional public schools.
Since 2010, all but one independent research study has found that students in charter schools do better in school than their traditional school peers. For example, one study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University found that charter schools do a better job teaching low income students, minority students, and students who are still learning English than traditional schools. Separate studies by the Center for Reinventing Public Education and Mathematica Policy Research have found that charter school students are more likely to graduate from high school, go on to college, stay in college and have higher earnings in early adulthood.
“Public charter schools have proven time and again that they are doing an effective job educating some of our most disadvantaged kids,” Rees continued. “But too often, potential school leaders are discouraged from opening a charter school due to limited resources. We should be doing everything we can to make sure more public charter schools are able to access the resources they need to offer high-quality education options.”
Click here to read Charter Funding: Inequity Expands and view state specific data.
About the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement. Our mission is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter sector. For more information, please visit our website at http://www.publiccharters.org.

This blog wholeheartedly supports charters, but more important, this blog supports school choice. One of the principles of this blog is that all children have a right to a good basic education. There are a variety of ways that each child will receive that good basic education and the choice should be left to the parents or guardians. The only caveat should be that if the education option is failing to educate that child, there should be other alternatives to choose from. Charters are governed by state law which authorizes them and sets the parameters for operation. One of the reasons many support charters is it is at least theoretically possible for failing schools to be closed. There are going to be good education options of all types and there will be failures of public school, private schools, and homeschools. Just as success is not attributed to all choices in a category, the fact that a public school or charter school is a failure does not mean that ALL public schools or ALL charter schools are failure. People, use a little discernment. Many are so caught up in their particular political agenda that they lose sight of the goal, which is that all children have a right to a good basic education.

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School choice: California public school charter serves homeschoolers

1 Jan

Moi has several posts about homeschooling. In Homeschooling is becoming more mainstream, moi wrote:

Parents and others often think of school choice in terms of public school or private school. There is another option and that is homeschooling.Homeschooling is one option in the school choice menu. There are fewer children being homeschooled than there are in private schools. There are fewer children in private education, which includes homeschools than in public education. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the vast majority of students attend public schools. Complete statistics can be found at Fast Education Facts http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=372

The question, which will be discussed at the end of this comment, is: What is so scary about school choice? After all, the vast majority of children are enrolled in public school and school choice is not going to change that.

What is Homeschooling?

Family Education defines homeschooling.

Homeschooling means learning outside of the public or private school environment. The word “home” is not really accurate, and neither is “school.” For most families, their “schooling” involves being out and about each day, learning from the rich resources available in their community, environment, and through interactions with other families who homeschool. http://school.familyeducation.com/home-schooling/alternative-education/41106.html

Essentially, homeschooling involves a commitment by a parent or guardian to oversees their child or teen’s educational development. There are almost two million homeschoolers in this country.
There is no one federal law, which governs homeschooling. Each state regulates homeschooling, so state law must be consulted. The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) has a summary of each state’s laws. http://www.hslda.org/laws/default.asp

Why Do Parents Homeschool?

According to the Washington Homeschool Organization, there are many reasons parents choose to homeschool.

Advantages of Homeschooling
• Parents are with their children all day.
• Parents know and understand their children, and are influential in their lives, even as they enter the teen years.
• Homeschooling prevents premature parent-child separation, avoiding inappropriate pressure on children.
• Children are allowed to mature at their own speeds, no “hurried child” syndrome.
• Parents and other adults are the primary role models for homeschooled children.
• Homeschooling provides positive and appropriate socialization with peers and adults.
• Homeschooled children are largely free from peer pressure.
• Homeschooled children are comfortable interacting with people of all ages.
• Homeschooled children view adults as an integrated part of their world and as natural partners in learning.
• Family values and beliefs are central to social, emotional and academic development.
• Family life revolves around its own needs and priorities rather than the demands of school.
• Homeschooling creates/maintains positive sibling relationships.
• Homeschooling promotes good communication and emotional closeness within a family.
• Research shows that the two most important factors in reading and overall educational success are positive home influence and parental involvement; homeschooling provides both.
• A child’s natural thirst for learning is nurtured, not squelched, and learning becomes a lifelong joy.
• Each child’s education can be tailored to his or her unique interests, pace, and learning style.
• Homeschooling children have time to pursue their special interests and talents.
• Homeschoolers enjoy unlimited educational resources; the world is our classroom, and resources abound in the community.
• Homeschooling provides a high adult/child ratio for the student.
• Homeschooled children become independent thinkers who are secure in their won convictions. http://www.washhomeschool.org/homeschooling/why.html

https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/homeschooling-is-becoming-more-mainstream/
Homeschoolers of Color

The Village Voice has an excellent article about the experiences of Black homeschoolers and why they made the choice of homeschooling.

Black parents tend to take their children out of the schools for other than religious reasons, and homeschooling groups say black children taught at home are nearly always boys. Like Robinson, some of New York’s parents have concluded that the school system is failing the city’s black boys, and have elected to teach them at home as an alternative. http://www.villagevoice.com/2008-04-08/news/the-new-home-room/full

The National Home Education Research Institute http://www.nheri.org/research/nheri-news/homeschooling-more-ethnic-minorities-lower-income-families-and-parents-moderately-high-education.html which cites statistics from The Condition of Education 2009 reports the number of homeschoolers of color is growing. http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2009/2009081.pdf

If one reviews the statistics from the last four years of USDE research (i.e., the last two USDE reports), one will find that 77.0% of homeschool students were white in 2003 while 76.8% were white in 2007 (i.e., a 0.2% decrease in those who are “white”). Second, this authors’ roughly 25 years of experience with and studying the homeschool community shows that the percentage of the homeschool community comprised of minorities is continuing to increase. Third, homeschool leaders across the nation are telling this author the same; that is, an increasing percent of the homeschool community is non-white.

Homeschooling is the choice for many parents because they don’t feel that current education institutions serve either their child or their values well.

Sarah D. Sparks reported in the Education Week article, Calif. Charter Caters to Home-Schooled Students:

The Da Vinci Innovation Academy serves home-schooled students within a 90-minute drive of Los Angeles International Airport. The school, a partnership between the Da Vinci charter-management group and the Wiseburn school district, has developed intensive, connected parent-and-teacher professional development to keep widely disparate students on the same page.
“There are 270 kids attending DVIA, and they all have very different programs because every parent is seeing their role a little bit differently,” said Tom R. Johnstone, Wiseburn’s superintendent.
The most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics show that roughly 3 percent of all school-age American children, or 1.77 million, were home-schooled in 2011. As the practice becomes increasingly popular, more states are requiring districts to provide at least some educational services if parents request them.
The partnership between Wiseburn and Da Vinci offers one model for keeping home-schooling families connected to the larger district community and highlights a more holistic approach to getting parents involved in their children’s schooling. While parent cooperatives are becoming more commonplace, the Innovation Academy is unique as a full public school serving only home schoolers.
“Asking parents to volunteer twice a year for a fundraiser isn’t enough to connect them emotionally to their students’ learning,” said Laura B. Glasser, whose son Jacob attends Da Vinci. “Doing homework with my kid at public school was really about [both of us] doing the same paperwork in a different location. Here, family learning is about understanding multiple strategies. … [The school] offers families multiple ways to understand their child’s education.”
Students attend in-school class two days a week, either in a Monday/Thursday or Tuesday/Friday cohort, though the school also offers a half day of fee-based elective classes on Wednesdays. For the rest of the week, children work with their parents on projects developed in partnership with the school’s teachers and aligned to the Common Core State Standards that most states have now adopted. Parents fill out a detailed “work journal” linking the activities they do on home days to specific standards, and a panel of teachers audits the journals every 20 days to ensure students are completing at least 20 days’ worth of learning in that time….
Parents attend two days of training at the start of the fall semester, learning how to align what they do at home with what students learn in class. Throughout the year, they continue to attend workshops given by teachers and other home-schooling parents on topics from reading-comprehension strategies to occupational therapy, and teachers provide online videos and other materials to help parents link school content to home lessons….
The school population is about half white, and the rest is a mix of black students and those of Hispanic, Asian, and Middle Eastern backgrounds. While under California charter law students can enroll from anywhere in the state, all so far hail from across the Los Angeles metro area, and a majority qualify for free or reduced-price meals. “When you think of home-schooling families, you think middle-class white, and that doesn’t end up being the model here,” said current Principal Michelle Rainey.
Parents run the gamut in educational experience, too, she added: “Some say, ‘I’m a home schooler at heart; I want complete autonomy.’ We have others who say, ‘I’m not sure about this whole home-schooling thing, but I like the way you work with kids, so give me materials and hold my hand through this…..’ ”
With parents responsible for covering the bulk of core content, the school also has more time to focus on teaching students to apply what they learn in multiple subjects, as well as cultivate noncognitive skills such as decisionmaking and cooperation.
“Content is about 50 percent of what we do here, and in most schools, content is 95 percent of what they do,” Principal Rainey said…. http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2013/12/30/15homeschool.h33.html?tkn=XOYFB5vCgN6oINU1CKtwJQQO62cE6pldq%2F2m&cmp=clp-edweek&intc=es

Many of our children are “unschooled” and a far greater number are “uneducated.” One can be “unschooled” or “uneducated” no matter the setting. As a society, we should be focused on making sure that each child receives a good basic education. There are many ways to reach that goal. There is nothing scary about the fact that some parents make the choice to homeschool. The focus should not be on the particular setting or institution type. The focus should be on proper assessment of each child to ensure that child is receiving a good basic education and the foundation for later success in life.

Related:

‘Hybrid’ homeschooling is growing https://drwilda.com/2012/08/16/hybrid-homeschooling-is-growing/

New book: Homeschooling, the little option that could https://drwilda.com/2012/10/12/new-book-homeschooling-the-little-option-that-could/

Homeschooled kids make the grade for college
https://drwilda.com/2012/07/02/homeschooled-kids-make-the-grade-for-college/

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Harvard and Princeton study: Charter schools benefit low-income students

6 Nov

Moi wrote in A charter school for young entrepreneurs shows the diversity of charters: Charter schools invoke passion on both sides of the argument as to whether they constitute good public policy. A good analysis of the issues can be found at Public Policy Forum Charter Schools: Issues and Outlooks http://www.rockinst.org/pdf/public_policy_forums/2007-03-28-public_policy_forum_charter_schools_issues_and_outlook_presented_by_judy_doesschate_and_william_lake.pdf presented by Judy Doesschate and William Lake Another good summary of the arguments for and against school choice can be found at Learning Matters analysis which came from the PBS program , News Hour. In DISCUSS: Is School Choice Good Or Bad For Public Education? several educators examine school choice issues. http://learningmatters.tv/blog/web-series/discuss-is-school-choice-good-or-bad-for-public-education/8575/
https://drwilda.com/2013/05/16/a-charter-school-for-young-entrepreneuers-shows-the-diversity-of-charters/

Brenda Cronin reported in the Wall Street Journal article, Charter School Benefits Extend Beyond Classroom:

The benefits of a charter school extend well beyond higher test scores and academic performance. Students at the Promise Academy in Harlem fared better than their peers in and outside the classroom, with lower rates of incarceration and teen pregnancy, new research shows.
Harvard’s Roland G. Fryer, Jr. and Princeton’s Will Dobbie tracked more than 400 sixth-grade students who won spots at the Promise Academy, a turbo-charged charter school in Harlem, through lotteries in 2005 and 2006.
For their paper, “The Medium-Term Impacts of High-Achieving Charter Schools on Non-Test Score Outcomes,” the economists tapped data from the Harlem Children’s Zone, the New York City Department of Education and the National Student Clearinghouse. They also followed the students throughout high school and compared survey results with non-lottery winners. They found strikingly improved “human capital” and diminished “risky behaviors” among lottery winners — but note that this particular school, and its supportive environment, may not be representative of other high-performing charter schools.
The Promise Academy, in New York City, offers a particularly intensive program for at-risk neighborhood students. The school is located in the Harlem Children’s Zone, a 97-block area that offers a host of programs to promote social well-being and advancement to low-income families. More than 8,000 youth and 5,000 adults benefit from HCZ programs each year.
Students at the Promise Academy have longer school days and school years than their counterparts elsewhere. They also have access to after-school tutoring and weekend classes for remedial help in math and English. Teachers at the school are evaluated and receive incentives to improve performance. The authors note that the school employs “extensive data-driven monitoring to track student progress and differentiate instruction, with students who have not met the required benchmarks receiving small-group tutoring.”
That focus appears to be yielding results: surveys completed by the students — who were paid between $40 and $200 to participate — show that teenage girls who won the school lottery were 12.1 percentage points less likely to be pregnant; boys who won the lottery to Promise Academy were 4.3 percentage points less likely to be in prison or jail than counterparts who didn’t land spots in the school. Lottery winners scored higher on math and reading exams; they also were more likely to take and pass exams in courses such as chemistry and geometry. They also were 14.1 percentage points more likely to enroll in college.
Other survey questions revealed little difference between Promise Academy students and those not at the school in areas such as mental health, obesity, or drug and alcohol use.
http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2013/10/30/charter-school-benefits-extend-beyond-classroom/?mod=wsj_valettop_email

Citation:

The Medium-Term Impacts of High-Achieving Charter Schools on Non-Test Score Outcomes
Will Dobbie, Roland G. Fryer, Jr
NBER Working Paper No. 19581
Issued in October 2013
NBER Program(s): CH ED LS
High-performing charter schools can significantly increase the test scores of poor urban students. It is unclear whether these test score gains translate into improved outcomes later in life. We estimate the effects of high-performing charter schools on human capital, risky behaviors, and health outcomes using survey data from the Promise Academy in the Harlem Children’s Zone. Six years after the random admissions lottery, youth offered admission to the Promise Academy middle school score 0.283 standard deviations higher on a nationally-normed math achievement test and are 14.1 percentage points more likely to enroll in college. Admitted females are 12.1 percentage points less likely to be pregnant in their teens, and males are 4.3 percentage points less likely to be incarcerated. We find little impact of the Promise Academy on self-reported health. We conclude with speculative evidence that high-performing schools may be sufficient to significantly improve human capital and reduce certain risky behaviors among the poor.

You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from SSRN.com ($5) for electronic delivery.
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Moi wrote in Study: Charters forcing public schools to compete and improve: Marc J. Holley, Anna J. Egalite, and Martin F. Lueken wrote in the Education Next article, Competition with Charters Motivates Districts:

But in order for this to happen, districts must first recognize the need to compete for students and then make efforts to attract those students, who now have the chance to go elsewhere. Since 2007, enrollment in charter schools has jumped from 1.3 million to 2 million students, an increase of 59 percent. The school choice movement is gaining momentum, but are districts responding to the competition? In this study we investigate whether district officials in a position to influence policy and practice have begun to respond to competitive pressure from school choice in new ways. Specifically, we probe whether district officials in urban settings across the country believe they need to compete for students. If they do, what is the nature of their response?
A small number of studies and numerous media reports have attempted to capture the reactions of public school officials to these new threats to their enrollments and revenues. A few reports of obstructionist behavior by districts stand out and have been chronicled in these pages by Joe Williams (“Games Charter Opponents Play,” features, Winter 2007) and Nelson Smith (“Whose School Buildings Are They, Anyway?” features, Fall 2012). Yet our evidence suggests that the dynamics described in Williams’s report of guerilla turf wars may be evolving in many locations to reflect new political circumstances and the growing popularity of a burgeoning charter sector.
To explore the influence of school choice on district policy and practice, we scoured media sources for evidence of urban public-school districts’ responses to charter competition. Our express purpose was to catalog levels of competition awareness and types of responses by public school officials and their representatives. Our search retrieved more than 8,000 print and online media reports in the past five years (since the 2007 Williams article) from 12 urban locations in the United States. We then reviewed minutes from school board meetings, district web sites, and other district artifacts to verify if, in fact, the practices and policies described in media reports have occurred.
We selected cities according to specific criteria. We chose three urban districts with high percentages of minority and low-income students (at least 60 percent on both counts) in each region (Northeast, Midwest, South, West). In addition, districts in our sample needed to have a minimum of 6 percent of students in choice schools, the level Caroline Hoxby identified as a threshold above which districts could reasonably be expected to respond to competitive pressure (see “Rising Tide,” research, Winter 2001). Finally, we sought to include cities across the range of choice-school market shares within each geographic region, so long as they were above the 6 percent threshold (see Figure 1)….
The ground war between charter schools and their opponents described by Joe Williams has begun to shift. As the charter sector continues to expand, some of its competitors appear to be changing strategy. Where school districts once responded with indifference, symbolic gestures, or open hostility, we are starting to see a broadening of responses, perhaps fueled by acceptance that the charter sector will continue to thrive, or by knowledge that many charters are providing examples of ways to raise academic achievement.
Traditional public schools are aware of the threats posed by alternative education providers, but they are analyzing the moves made by competitors and demonstrating that they may have the savvy to reflect, replicate, experiment, and enter into partnerships with school choice providers. This evidence suggests that while bureaucratic change may often be slow, it may be a mistake to underestimate the capacity of these bureaucratic institutions to reform, adapt, and adjust in light of changing environments. http://educationnext.org/competition-with-charters-motivates-districts/

The conclusion of the study was that charters were forcing public schools to compete in the marketplace. There is no one approach that works in every situation, there is only what works to address the needs of a particular population of children.
https://drwilda.com/2013/08/13/study-charters-forcing-public-schools-to-compete-and-improve/

Related:

Brookings report: What failing public schools can learn from charters? https://drwilda.com/2012/11/10/brookings-report-what-failing-public-schools-can-learn-from-charters/

Good or bad? Charter schools and segregation https://drwilda.com/2012/02/23/good-or-bad-charter-schools-and-segregation/

Focus on charter schools: There must be accountability https://drwilda.com/2011/12/24/focus-on-charter-schools-there-must-be-accountability/

Where information leads to Hope. ©

Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

Many charters adopting common application process

30 Sep

Moi wrote in Study: Charters forcing public schools to compete and improve: Education tends to be populated by idealists and dreamers who are true believers and who think of what is possible. Otherwise, why would one look at children in second grade and think one of those children could win the Nobel Prize or be president? Maybe, that is why education as a discipline is so prone to fads and the constant quest for the “Holy Grail” or the next, next magic bullet. There is no one answer, there is what works for a particular population of kids. Geoffrey Canada is an exceptional educator and he has stuck his neck out there. He was profiled in “Waiting for Superman.”

The words of truth are always paradoxical.
Lao Tzu

Sharon Otterman reported in New York Times about some of the challenges faced by Mr. Canada’s schools, The Harlem Children’s Zone.
In Lauded Harlem Schools Have Their Own Problems Otterman reported:

Criticism WILL occur if you are doing something that is not inline with others’ expectations. It IS going to cost to educate children out of the cycle of poverty. Still, that means that society should not make the attempt.http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/13/education/13harlem.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

There is no magic bullet or “Holy Grail” in education. There is only what works to produce academic achievement in each population of children. That is why school choice is so important.
https://drwilda.com/2013/08/13/study-charters-forcing-public-schools-to-compete-and-improve/

Kate Ash reported in the Education Week article, Charters Adopt Common Application Systems:

To combat the confusion and make applying to charters easier and more transparent, a small but growing number of school districts, as well as charter school organizations, have rolled out new programs such as universal enrollment systems and common applications to centralize and streamline the process.
Among those efforts:
• Denver launched a centralized enrollment system called SchoolChoice in 2010 for all district-run and charter schools in the 85,000-student system.
• In New Orleans, the Louisiana Recovery School District, in partnership with the Orleans Parish School Board, debuted a universal enrollment system called OneApp for charter and district-run schools in February 2012 and is now entering its third year of a unified lottery system serving the city’s 44,000 students.
• The Newark and District of Columbia school systems are making plans to implement universal enrollment systems for their district-run and charter schools for the 2014-15 school year.
“The promise of a marketplace of schools is also a promise that kids and parents can navigate that marketplace,” said Armen Hratchian, the vice president for K12 schools at Excellent Schools Detroit, a coalition of education organizations and philanthropies aiming to improve education for all students in that city, where educators are also having conversations about a shift toward more centralization. “[Right now], there’s no single place, time, or process for parents and kids to select and enroll in schools, so we’re not really maximizing choice.”
How It Works
In a universal enrollment system, there is one application, timeline, and lottery for all the schools that participate, including both district-run and charter schools. Parents rank their schools in order of preference, then an algorithm, which takes into account certain preferences (such as geographic location or where siblings attend school), generates one single, best offer for each student.
Such a system makes it much easier for parents and students to understand their options, said Gabriela Fighetti, the executive director of enrollment for the Louisiana Recovery School District, and makes it easier for schools to plan for their upcoming school year.
Before OneApp, parents had to keep track of dozens of applications and deadlines, and “at the end of that process, you could’ve gotten into more than one school, or you could’ve gotten into no schools,” said Ms. Fighetti.
That caused an enormous amount of churn in the beginning of the school year as students scrambled to figure out which school they wanted to attend, making it hard for schools to know exactly how many students they would end up with.
Overall, said Ms. Fighetti, “you can give many more families a better offer if no family is holding multiple seats.”
Getting Charter Buy-In
But convincing charter schools, which are public schools that are generally granted greater autonomy and flexibility than typical district-run schools, to join in a centralized process of enrollment isn’t an easy task.
None of the cities that are currently using a universal enrollment system—with the exception of Denver—have 100 percent participation from all the charters in their districts…
http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2013/09/25/05charter_ep.h33.html?tkn=PWNFOXowk4lOudM53dHN%2FmHTjn8UyypxxFD2&cmp=clp-edweek

The best example of a common application process is the “Common College Application.”

Montgomery Education Consulting discussed the pros and cons of the “Common College Application” in Common Application: Panacea or Pandora?

Mr. Hoover makes a number of important points that help to illustrate that the Common App is, well, not all that Common. Further, its penetration of the admissions market has become both a blessing and a curse.
• Because the Common Application makes it easier to apply to more and more colleges, kids are applying to more and more colleges without regard to fit. Students can easily apply to schools they know little about–and have little intention of attending.
• More applications makes all admissions pools more competitive. This is great for colleges that want to appear more competitive to move up in the various rankings. But why should a kid who is dying to be admitted to a particular college be competing with kids who are not all that interested? How does a college really know if the kid is interested? (Answer: they do this by taking into account “demonstrated interest,” but this phenomenon makes the admissions process more complicated for the college side, not less).
• More kids applying to more colleges creates more perceived competition, which feeds the cycle of stress and manic striving that now characterizes the college admissions process. If kids had to sit down and write out each application by hand, they might be more judicious in their selections, and the stress levels might decrease.
• The Common App has made it somewhat easier for kids from underrepresented minorities and first generation homes that can easily apply to the higher echelons of American higher education. But it’s hard to say that the Common App is the cause of this increase, or simply a by-product of other forces that are enabling more kids to apply.
A “common” application does not mean a “standardized” application. Many, many Common Application member institutions require supplements to their application. These can be very simple ones to complete (indeed, many colleges stupidly require kids to answer questions already addressed in the main portions of the Common App). Or they can be those quirky essays from the University of Chicago (“Find x”) or Wake Forest University (“What outrages you?”). Managing all the supplements and other moving parts of the so-called Common Application is an organizational nightmare, especially if kids want to provide any customization of the Common Application for particular schools.
There is much to be said for a return to a more old-fashioned, paper-based system of college applications. Many of us long for those good old days of typewriters, white-out, staplers, paper clips, and collating papers, when the just the feel of 25-pound bond would make a student feel grown up, and – WHAT am I saying? We love to complain about the Common Application, but there ain’t no going back to carbon paper, folks…! http://greatcollegeadvice.com/common-application-panacea-or-pandora/

Moi supports neighborhood schools which cater to the needs of the children and families in that neighborhood. A one-size-fits-all approach does not work in education. It is for this reason that moi supports charter schools which are regulated by strong charter school legislation with accountability. Accountability means different things to different people. In 2005 Sheila A. Arens wrote Examining the Meaning of Accountability: Reframing the Construct for Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning which emphasizes the involvement of parents and community members. One of the goals of the charter movement is to involve parents and communities.
http://www.edreform.com/issues/choice-charter-schools/
http://www.mcrel.org/PDF/AssessmentAccountabilityDataUse/4002IR_Examining_Accountability.pdf

Resources:

Why Charter Schools
o Debunking charter school myths
http://www.publiccharters.org/About-Charter-Schools/Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx

o How charter schools perform
http://www.publiccharters.org/About-Charter-Schools/How-Charters-Perform.aspx

o Why we need charter schools
http://www.publiccharters.org/About-Charter-Schools/Why-charter-schools003F.aspx

o Find a charter school
http://dashboard.publiccharters.org/dashboard/select/year/2010

o Charter school data
http://dashboard.publiccharters.org/dashboard/home

o A look at great charter schools
http://www.publiccharters.org/additional-pages/great-charter-schools.aspx

Related:

Brookings report: What failing public schools can learn from charters?
https://drwilda.com/2012/11/10/brookings-report-what-failing-public-schools-can-learn-from-charters/

Good or bad? Charter schools and segregation
https://drwilda.com/2012/02/23/good-or-bad-charter-schools-and-segregation/

Focus on charter schools: There must be accountability
https://drwilda.com/2011/12/24/focus-on-charter-schools-there-must-be-accountability/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/
Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

A charter school for young entrepreneurs shows the diversity of charters

16 May

 

Charter schools invoke passion on both sides of the argument as to whether they constitute good public policy. A good analysis of the issues can be found at Public Policy Forum Charter  Schools: Issues and Outlooks  http://www.rockinst.org/pdf/public_policy_forums/2007-03-28-public_policy_forum_charter_schools_issues_and_outlook_presented_by_judy_doesschate_and_william_lake.pdf

 presented by Judy Doesschate and William Lake Another good summary of the arguments for and against school choice can be found at Learning Matters analysis which came from the PBS program , News Hour. In DISCUSS: Is School Choice Good Or Bad For Public Education? several educators examine school choice issues. http://learningmatters.tv/blog/web-series/discuss-is-school-choice-good-or-bad-for-public-education/8575/

Whtittney Evans of NPR reports in the story, Utah Charter School Nurtures Entrepreneurial Spirit:

A new charter school in Utah wants to equip students in kindergarten through ninth grade with a solid foundation in business.

Students’ daily lessons are peppered with concepts like sales and marketing, finance and entrepreneurship, says first-grade teacher Tammy Hill. “And that plays into leadership and improved math skills. And finance plays into every part of their lives.”

About 580 students attend Highmark Charter School in a suburb just north of Salt Lake City. They earn play money by turning in homework on time and performing chores. They’re encouraged to make items and sell them to each other.

“So they’re learning about supply and demand and how to make a budget and then those who have money left when the classroom store opens, they can come buy little erasers and stickers and lollipops and whatnot with the money they’ve saved from their budget,” Hill says.

Around lunch time, a group of rowdy fifth-graders lines up outside the school store.

Most of them say they’re looking forward to sixth grade when they’ll be old enough to apply for a job here.

Eighth-grader Kymira Jackson hastily ties her apron and races to the counter to start her shift. “I’m not good at math so it gives me a little more time to work it out, but it’s a lot of fun,” she says.

Cheryl Wright is a professor in the department of family and consumer studies at the University of Utah. She specializes in kindergarten through third grade education.

“Money is an external reinforcer,” Wright says. “And when you think about what is really foundationally important to early learning in particular, it’s intrinsic motivation.”

She says financial literacy is a bold objective. But it is social networks and good relationship skills that are the key to lifelong happiness and success, not just making money.    http://www.npr.org/2013/05/15/183914596/utah-charter-school-nurtures-entrepreneurial-spirit

Moi wrote in The Center for Education Reform releases 2012 charter school law guide

Business Week has a concise debate about the pros and cons of charter schools featuring Jay P. Greene, University of Arkansas; Manhattan Institute arguing the pro position and Jeffrey Henig, Columbia University arguing against charter schools. The Education Commission of the States succinctly lists the pros and cons of charter schools 

Pros

According to proponents:

·         Charter schools present students and parents with an increasingly diverse array of education options.

·         The competition provided by charter schools forces school districts to improve the performance of their schools in order to attract and retain students and dollars.

·         If managed properly, charter schools serve as laboratories for education experimentation and innovation. The easing of certain regulations can free teachers and administrators to develop and implement new learning strategies.

·         Increased accountability for charter schools means that schools have to perform or risk closure. This extra incentive demands results.

Cons

According to opponents:

·         Because charter schools operate as a business, as well as a learning institution, they are subject to market forces that may eventually force them to close, depriving students of a continuous education.

·         Charter schools sometimes segregate students along racial and class lines and fail to adequately serve students with disabilities or limited English proficiency.

·         Accountability for student performance is difficult to measure and enforce in the burgeoning charter school movement. The usual complications of accurate student measurement are compounded by the often-conflicting demands of the state government’s need for accountability and the marketplace’s desire for opportunity.

·         The emergence of education management organizations as proprietors of charter schools creates “pseudo-school districts” in which decisions are made far removed from the school.

The Center for Education Reform (Center) has been publishing information about charter schools for the past several years.

https://drwilda.com/2012/04/04/the-center-for-education-reform-releases-2012-charter-school-law-guide/

Moi supports neighborhood schools which cater to the needs of the children and families in that neighborhood. A one-size-fits-all approach does not work in education. It is for this reason that moi supports charter schools which are regulated by strong charter school legislation with accountability. Accountability means different things to different people. In 2005 Sheila A. Arens wrote Examining the Meaning of Accountability: Reframing the Construct for Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning which emphasizes the involvement of parents and community members. One of the goals of the charter movement is to involve parents and communities. http://www.edreform.com/issues/choice-charter-schools/

http://www.mcrel.org/PDF/AssessmentAccountabilityDataUse/4002IR_Examining_Accountability.pdf

Resources:

Why Charter Schools

Related:

Brookings report: What failing public schools can learn from charters? https://drwilda.com/2012/11/10/brookings-report-what-failing-public-schools-can-learn-from-charters/

Good or bad? Charter schools and segregation https://drwilda.com/2012/02/23/good-or-bad-charter-schools-and-segregation/

Focus on charter schools: There must be accountability https://drwilda.com/2011/12/24/focus-on-charter-schools-there-must-be-accountability/

Where information leads to Hope. ©                               Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©                      http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                                             http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©                                                                                                https://drwilda.com/

Ineffective charter schools must be closed

18 Aug

In Focus on charter schools: Charter school laws, moi said:

This blog wholeheartedly supports charters, but more important, this blog supports school choice.  One of the principles of this blog is that all children have a right to a good basic education. There are a variety of ways that each child will receive that good basic education and the choice should be left to the parents or guardians. The only caveat should be that if the education option is failing to educate that child, there should be other alternatives to choose from. Charters are governed by state law which authorizes them and sets the parameters for operation. One of the reasons many support charters is it is at least theoretically possible for failing schools to be closed. There are going to be good education options of all types and there will be failures of public school, private schools, and homeschools. Just as success is not attributed to all choices in a category, the fact that a public school or charter school is a failure does not mean that ALL public schools or ALL charter schools are failure. People, use a little discernment. Many are so caught up in their particular political agenda that they lose sight of the goal, which is that all children have a right to a good basic education.

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools has issued the report, Measuring Up to the Model: A Ranking of State Charter School Laws, 2012 http://www.publiccharters.org/publication/?id=658       See, Report: Quality of Charter School Laws Improves Nationwide   http://www.educationnews.org/education-policy-and-politics/report-quality-of-charter-school-laws-improves-nationwide/

https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/23/focus-on-charter-schools-charter-school-laws/

One of the perceived advantages of the charter school concept is the ability to close underperforming schools.

In Focus on charter schools: There must be accountability, moi said:

Moi supports neighborhood schools which cater to the needs of the children and families in that neighborhood. A one-size-fits-all approach does not work in education. It is for this reason that moi supports charter schools which are regulated by strong charter school legislation with accountability. Accountability means different things to different people. In 2005 Sheila A. Arens wrote Examining the Meaning of Accountability: Reframing the Construct for Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning which emphasizes the involvement of parents and community members. One of the goals of the charter movement is to involve parents and communities. http://www.mcrel.org/PDF/AssessmentAccountabilityDataUse/4002IR_Examining_Accountability.pdf

https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/24/focus-on-charter-schools-there-must-be-accountability/

Sean Cavanaugh’s Education Week article discusses charter school accountability.

In Debate Grows Around Charter School Closure, Cavanaugh writes:

One of the most vexing questions about charter schools—when low-performing ones should be shut down—is receiving new attention, amid concerns that lax and inconsistent standards for closing them will undermine the public’s confidence in the sector.

Over the past few years, a growing number of researchers, policymakers, and charter school backers have called for removing obstacles to closing academically struggling schools, though many barriers remain.

Numerous states have approved laws in recent years that have raised or clarified standards for charter school performance, while also establishing policies to make it easier for charters to open and secure facilities and public funding.

Even so, state and local policies vary greatly in their expectations for charter schools, and in the standards they set for authorizers—the state, local, or independent entities typically charged with approving charters and overseeing their performance.

According to a report released this year, the nationwide rate of closure of charters schools up for renewal has actually fallen over the past three years, which could be interpreted as a sign of improved quality, weaker oversight, or some combination of both. Another recent estimate shows that the percentage of charters in different states that have shut their doors varies widely—from zero to 5 percent in some states to well over 20 percent in others.e Also

Debates about the standards for closing struggling charters are nothing new, either in the context of broader policy discussions or in communities weighing the performance of individual schools. But the issue has received more intense focus lately from pro-charter groups that say they want to ensure that the sector, which has grown fairly steady for two decades, is held to high standards….

Others point out that many low-performing charters do, in fact, close, and warn against state and local officials setting overly rigid standards for judging performance without considering the challenges individual schools face.

“Trying to create one-size-fits-all formulas—that flies in the face of what charter schools should be,” said Jeanne Allen, the president of the Center for Education Reform, a Washington organization that supports such schools. Authorizers need to be held to high standards for judging charters, she said, but also “actively understand the context of each school.”

Debates about charter quality notwithstanding, research suggests that academically struggling charters do not get a free pass.

A larger percentage of low-performing charters close—19 percent—than do similarly struggling public schools—11 percent—according to a 2010 studyconducted by David A. Stuit, a partner at Basis Policy Research, an independent research organization in Raleigh, N.C., for the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a Washington think tank that supports charters. That study focused on 10 states, which have about 70 percent of the country’s charters.

Nationwide, 15 percent of the 6,700 charter schools that have opened over the past two decades have shut their doors for one reason or another, according to the Center for Education Reform. The largest proportion of those closures, nearly 42 percent, were the result of financial woes, usually related to low enrollment or lack of funding, the CER concluded. Twenty-four percent closed for reasons of mismanagement, and a smaller share, 19 percent, were shut down for academic reasons.

Who Authorizes Charter Schools?

The nation’s charter schools are overseen by a variety of authorizers. The vast majority of them—more than 90 percent—are individual school districts:

859 local education agencies
46 higher education institutions
20 nonprofit organizations
20 state education agencies
10 independent chartering boards
2 mayors/municipalities

957 total

SOURCE: National Association of Charter School Authorizers http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/08/17/01closure_ep.h32.html?tkn=PVLFy1z3RewY%2BLRHVgefsvkBJ3%2BmKA5iLdlO&intc=es

So, what does this all mean? No one method will educate all children. If the goal is to give all children a good basic education, then all options must be on the table. Otherwise, the supposed adults are protecting their jobs and their pensions.

Resources:

Why Charter Schools

Related:

National Education Policy Center study compares spending by charters and public schools                                                                                                                              https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/05/07/national-education-policy-center-study-study-compares-spending-by-charters-and-public-schools/

Good or bad? Charter schools and segregation                                                    https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/good-or-bad-charter-schools-and-segregation/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©