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Lost Federal Funding For Charters

Following last week's piece about charter schools wanting some action this year on expanding their numbers, there's an interesting editorial in today's Tribune that charts mis-steps by ISBE and the state about funding charter schools (Chortling over charters).  It's no big surprise that the Tribune comes out pro-charter, of course, but they do make a pretty good case that as long as they're going to have charters serving kids they might as well get federal funding especially that's available.  Let the drumbeat continue.

Filed under: Media Watch

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  • George,

    I don't believe it's fair to compare Charters to Magnets and selective enrollment. Those latter two are able to admit children whose scores are at a certain level. Charters are unable to do this. Yes, Charters do disenroll children who are unable to adapt to the environment in the charter school. And Charters no doubt get children from families that are more motivated about their childrens' education, so I would say they can't be compared to neighborhood schools either. So in the end I suspect you have a case of bananas, apples and oranges. I just don't see how the diversity is harmful, especially when parents are queued up to get their children into these charter schools.

  • The research on the lackluster performance of charters compared with regular neighborhood schools is everywhere, from the USDE and National Center for Education Statistics to a 2005 book by Richard Rothstein, "The Charter School Dust Up" which reports on numerous studies and concludes there is no evidence that, on average, charter schools out-perform regular public schools. In fact, there is evidence that the average impact of charter schools is negative.

    The fact that the public is mostly unaware of the powerful and consistent research that charters and other privatized schools just aren't performing as well overall as regular public schools simply proves George's point about the media conspiracy.

    Two more points. Most magnet schools do not have academic requirements but use lotteries, like most charters.

    Finally, a test of a good school should be an objective evaluation of its performance, not how many people believe its hype. If that were the case, then MacDonalds would have to be considered the finest food available and wed have shut down Moms kitchen in favor of this superior product. We are all vulnerable to a good marketing strategy, and CPS and others are pouring millions into marketing Renaissance 2010, charters, and other such programs.

    Is it wrong to have choices? Well, that depends on what has to happen for some people to have choices. The problem is that it is the most vulnerable children and communities who are being hurt by these strategies, and the benefits are not equally accessible.

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