Sunday, June 21, 2009

Delaware Watch

If you have not discovered Delaware Watch, you should. This guy has a great take on contemporary issues in Delaware and the nation:

This will cause hand-wringing, weeping, wailing, and angry and sophistical comments:On average, charter schools are not performing as well as their traditional public-school peers, according to a new study that is being called the first national assessment of these school-choice options. The study, conducted by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University, compared the reading and math state achievement test scores of students in charter schools in 15 states and the District of Columbia—amounting to 70 percent of U.S. charter school students—to those of their virtual "twins" in regular schools who shared with them certain characteristics.I interrupted the flow of the findings so I could interject this comment: these results should surprise no one. There really isn't a rational reason to think that quasi-private schools should perform better than public schools. It's only a bunch of mystical market mumbo jumbo that makes people think so. So, read this and weep all you who tacitly root for the failure of the public school system:The research found that 37 percent of charter schools posted math gains that were significantly below what students would have seen if they had enrolled in local traditional public schools. And 46 percent of charter schools posted math gains that were statistically indistinguishable from the average growth among their traditional public-school companions. That means that only 17 percent of charter schools have growth in math scores that exceeds that of their traditional public-school equivalents by a significant amount.In reading, charter students on average realized a growth that was less than their public-school counterparts but was not as statistically significant as differences in math achievement, researchers said.Here's the assessment of a weeper:"We are worried by these results," Margaret Raymond, director of CREDO and lead author of the report, Multiple Choice: Charter School Performance in 16 States, said at a news conference. "This study shows that we've got a 2-to-1 margin of bad charters to good charters."Haters of public schools and teachers' unions, editorialists and radio talk show hosts who naively think that charter schools walk on water—I confess, I am laughing at you. Vindication feels so good. ______________The study can be found here.Delaware Watch, Delaware Watch, Jun 2009

You should read the whole article.

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