Media: New York Times Covers Charter Pros & Cons

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Thanks to reader TM for pointing me to this big New York Times article on charter schools, and kudos to Catalyst Ohio for the shout out it gets inside. 

The article itself tells us what most already know -- that there are very good charters and very mediocre and bad ones, and that scaling up the best charters costs a lot of money and requires a lot of talent and isn't usually the product of any single "secret ingredient."  

Filed under: Media Watch


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  • The case is quite clear that charters are not a success but have destroyed the fabric of open access public education for all. When you destroy a school to say you will build something better and then that something better is worse than the school you destroyed how can there be any other conclusion?

    As a trained and certified educator i do not see numbers. i see first hand the destruction duncan and huberman are responsible for. We will be paying for years for the damage that has been done to our youth.

    Hint: our young people will remember everyone that has hurt them including news agencies and attorneys that support(ed) the theft of resources for their education.

    John Kugler

    An independent nonprofit organization, the Civic Club, was a partner in the creation of the city's Renaissance 2010 program, which, launched in 2004, promised "to increase the number of high quality educational options in communities across Chicago by 2010."The Civic Club helped establish the Renaissance 2010 Fund. But it minced no words in calling the performance of Chicago

  • recent dramatic gains in the reported number of CPS elementary students who meet standards on State assessments appear to be due to changes in the tests made by the Illinois State Board of Education, rather than real improvements in student learning.

    sounds like cheating to me.

    this is from a report last year! and huberman is still pushing this trash and now it is worse with his CTA MBA non-educator patronage hires.

  • I wonder what the data says about Chicago Charter Schools. They've been around for about 10 years now and still no clear evidence that students in the charter environment are performing better than non-charter. A close friend of mine is employed by a charter school even though she failed the Illinois Basic Skills test 3 times. Charter schools are a unnecssary distraction in a messed up education system.

  • Like the charters discussed in the NYT article CPS charters are a mixed bag. Clearly UNO and Noble are showing improvement for students, others less so. What I think the article discusses in passing, but does not really bring out well is that those charters doing better have recieved significant support from various foundations.

    I think what needs to be understood is that those charters that appear to be more effective do not cost society less money, even if their teachers are paid on average less than traditional public school teachers. Charters or traditional schools, it costs a lot to effectively educate low income students. Right now at the level of state government across our nation we are not seeing much of a commitment to educating these students and their disabled counterparts.

    Rod Estvan

  • U.S. probe widens to 18 city charters
    Details are sought on the use of public money
    Posted on Mon, May. 3, 2010
    By Martha Woodall

    Inquirer Staff Writer

    What began as a federal probe of a single charter school in Northeast Philadelphia two years ago has spread to at least 18 schools and may be the largest federal charter investigation in the country, experts say.

    "I can't think of a similar situation" anywhere else, said Nelson Smith, president and chief executive officer of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools in Washington.

    "There has not been any other state or city that has had this kind of charge made against so many [charters] in a confined period of time," said Jeanne Allen, president of the Center for Education Reform, also in Washington.

    In recent weeks, a flurry of federal subpoenas has been served on schools across the city seeking five years' worth of financial records to show how the charters have spent taxpayer money.

    Documents from one school provided to The Inquirer offer a glimpse into the broad scope of the federal inquiry. At New Foundations Charter in the Northeast, investigators sought a wide range of print and electronic records, including those showing how the school spent public money. The school received $5 million in the last academic year.

    The federal probe was launched in May 2008, shortly after The Inquirer reported allegations of financial mismanagement, nepotism, and conflicts of interest at Philadelphia Academy Charter School in the Northeast. Two former officials are in federal prison after pleading guilty to fraud charges.


  • Is it even possible to keep all high school students inside a building while still fulfilling security needs throughout the school? Whoever has a solution that covers all possible scenarios stands to make some serious money. And I'll begin by paying you to provide that incredible service to my own school.

    How many exits are there? How many security guards are there? If they are all assigned to exits what happens to security in the rest of the building? The number of security guards my high school receives isn't anywhere close to the actual number of building exits.

    So, ok, let's have the security guards watch all the exits. When a student is assaulted in a bathroom or in the lunchroom or hallway or stairwell or basement or anywhere else then everyone will complain that the security guards weren't in those places. Covering an entire building with security is not as simple as it might initially appear.

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