The state legislature is considering lifting the cap on charters, and it just might happen. A strong contingent of Black and Latino Democratic members from the city wants more charters for their kids. This confounds and scandalizes the NYT. But rather than attacking charters in New York, they go after charters in other places. They know they’d be quickly embarrassed if they argued that chartering hasn’t worked in NYC.
The edit mentions charter problems in Michigan and Ohio, suggesting the states aren’t monitoring their many charter schools. CharterBlog writes:
But the inconvenient truth is that charter schools are not only revitalizing public education in Detroit for the first time in 40 years, they are also outperforming comparable public schools statewide.
Here are some more doozies from the Times: “Promising charter systems are few.” That couldn’t be farther from the truth. It also claims that charters as a whole aren’t performing as well as traditional public schools. Again, not true. Then there’s this one, “some states have opened so many charter programs so quickly that they can barely count them, let alone monitor student performance.” Really? What about the recognition that CMU (that’s right, Central Michigan University) has gotten for charter oversight?
Of course, the Time’s solution has been tried time and time and time again: “better” teacher and principal training, more teacher pay, metal detectors, school uniforms, etc. And the achievement gap remains. The brilliance of chartering is it allows new systems of instruction, governance, curricula, and culture to be tested and held accountable for results. And the results are great and getting better.
Center for Education Reform says the Times is using dubious data and ignoring more recent research.
Chalkboard also observes the Times’ reluctance to write about charters in New York, which are doing well.
Once again, the NY Times is weighing in on an important topic impacting New York charter schools without ever comparing/contrasting the reality of New York’s rich local experience with chartering. Rigorous oversight? Closing bad schools? Been there, doing that.
School of Blog asks two questions that occurred to me: Why does the NY Times hate charter schools so much? And why does the Times characterize charters as “private” schools?
Cory Booker was elected mayor of Newark this week, a city where the schools are so bad that the state took control 10 years ago — and the schools remain awful. Booker is a strong supporter of school choice,, including charter schools. What’s the New York Times’ plan for improving Newark schools? More metal detectors? More regulation?
Update: Eduwonk says it’s impossible to generalize from one state to others on charter regulation: Some states, such as Ohio, have problems; others, such as New York, are closing charter schools that don’t boost academic achievement, which is better than the Times thinks it is.
In most states charters are posting faster gains than other public schools which means that in a few years the charter picture is going to look a lot different. In addition, though I’ve only seen this data in a handful of places, if you throw out the lowest performing charters and a comparable number of the lowest performing public schools, the charter to traditional public school comparison looks a lot more favorable to charters. Why? Well in no small part because of what The Times gets at, in some places a lack of oversight has resulted in some really shoddy schools opening up. Why is this important? Because politically the time horizon issue is the driving force behind the “kill them in the cradle” strategy we’re now seeing from the AFT, NEA, and others (and yes, I know, I know…they support charters with all the right conditions….spare me, more on that BS later).
Eduwonk thinks the Times is trying to influence the National Governors Association to adopt an anti-charter policy.