Education

5 Facts About Charter Schools

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  1. “Yet for every $1,000 in school funds, charters on average produced higher scores in both reading and math on the National Assessment of Educational Progress.”

    That makes it sound like, not counting costs, charters performed worse than public schools. Is that true? If it isn’t, why are you controlling for costs?

    1. the wording is confusing. would it not also mean that for every $ spent the charters do better?

      1. Yes, but if they did worse overall, you could argue that it was money well spent. If you spent half the money, and scores plummeted by 50%, no one would argue that they were ‘just as good’.

        1. Yes. I think the argument only works for “provides greater value”.

  2. to be fair, isn’t there an argument that charter schools fair better because they get the smarter kids- leaving the dunces with the other public schools?

    Also, isn’t there evidence that having parents who actually care enough to TRY and get you in a charter school also has a great impact on results?

    1. From what I’ve read that is true. For districts that allow students to take tests and apply for magnet schools, those that applied and didn’t get in, outperform their peers at the schools they are stuck at.

    2. Probably, but the anti-charter crowd is scared that the kids will get a poor education AND someone will make eeevulll profittssss! Even if the test results were a push, showing that the schools can get the same result with fewer dollars undercuts this worry.

    3. No. Charter schools must accept everyone who applies. When more people apply than they have room for then they must hold a lottery. They do NOT get to cherry pick students.

      1. They don’t get to “cherry pick” for entrance, but there’s definitely a self-selection effect. They absolutely do get to cherry pick who they’re sending back to public schools.

        1. As they should. One of the selling points of charters is that emotionally disturbed Johnny doesn’t get to monopolize the teacher’s time with his three times per hour spaz outbursts.

          1. That’d be fine if ‘compare the unadjusted scores!’ wasn’t also a selling point.

            1. To be fair, EH Johnny doesn’t belong in a traditional public school to begin with. Which is really the whole point. School choice provides parents with the ability to select the proper educational environment suited for their children’s needs. EH Johnny doesn’t benefit from being mainstreamed just as much as the mainstream kids don’t benefit from his presence in the classroom.

              1. HM, the purpose of public education is indoctrination and feelz. To some extent, EH Johny’s benefit is immaterial. “Fairness” indicates that he gets the exact same thing as other children because, obviously, children are all exactly alike.

                1. Damn, I keep forgetting about social justice.

              2. I went to a magnet high school so I’m certainly in no position to disagree. I just get tired of people selling school choice as a panacea.

                1. Me too. We’re all smart enough to know unfettered vouchers are the panacea.

                  1. That and free community college.

        2. If you look at a charter like Harlem Success, they are paid about 70% per student what the public school in the same building gets per student. Yet instead of having a 65% graduation rate (5 years) they have about 99% going on to 2 and 4 year colleges. Same population of students. The school day and year is longer. They do not have as many rules that are regulatory capture for the teachers in the public school. So they have the goal of teaching the students as their primary goal. See Waiting for Superman.

          1. “Same population of students.”

            That’s impossible.

            “See Waiting for Superman.”

            lol nah, I can read.

            1. No it isn’t. The students are chosen by random. THere are always many more applicants than available spaces. The charter school, Harlem Success, is physically in the same building as the traditional public school. The students are draw from the same geographic area as the TPS. The difference is not the students. The difference is the teaching and the processes they use vs the TPS. Since 1970 we now spend 3X more per student adjusted for inflation and get the same results. We don’t need more money; we need different teaching processes. Even Gov. Cumo recognizes the problem with TPS. You are welcome to read Waiting for Superman. But I think you want to remain ignorant.

              1. LOL some sappy movie for dumbshits could convince you of anything.

                The 2014 Progress Report data, used to compare the performance of all New York City public and charter schools, was released last month. These data show that Success Academy in Harlem serves 9.5% fewer students receiving free lunch, 18.5% fewer students on public assistance, 64% fewer students who live in temporary housing, 46.8% fewer English Language Learners, 44.6% fewer special education students, and 93.2% fewer of the highest need special education students than the average for public elementary and middle schools in District 5 in Harlem.


                Whether on purpose or by accident, it is clear that charter schools are cherry-picking students. This may be because they spend most of their marketing budgets, which are vast and had been subsidized by the public schools for many years, on outreach to only specific students. This may be because they refuse to enroll students, even those who win the lottery, if they do not attend pre-enrollment summer school or meet other criteria. It may be because students who misbehave are suspended or expelled at sky-high rates. It may be because the parents of students with challenges do not bother to apply. Whatever the causal explanation, charter schools serve a select student population.

                http://dianeravitch.net/catego…..s-academy/

                1. And I just realized that Harlem Success in only elementary and middle schools. Amazingly, keeping little kids in class all summer and for extra long the rest of the year and … they’re slightly statistically more likely to know, like, number lines the capital of Vermont. Who cares? By this standard, Head Start is a huge success.

                  When the lottery winners are making real world differences (SAT, AP, etc) compared to their lottery loser bizarro selves, then we’ll have something to talk about.

    4. Selection bias is the entire story.

      1. Nope. Get the facts. Charter schools are over subscribed and thus they are NOT allowed to select the students. They MUST hold a lottery and select the students that way.

        1. Holding a lottery doesn’t mean the lottery applicants aren’t self-selected and it doesn’t mean the school can’t kick out whoever they want.

      2. Going all Lost Generations to cram useless information in the heads of 10 year olds is part of the story. It’s just that there’s zero evidence that any of it carries over to adulthood.

  3. Also, seriously, infographic on all the times a dollar is taxed in its life.

  4. Pretty sure that 100% of charters schools are funded by wealth transfers, so who cares? I have a nephew and two nieces who went to charter schools. They remain ignorant, in spite of the pieces of paper they received. Here comes college!!!

    1. You are wrong. They actually save TPS money because they cost 70% of what the TPS would get. The TPS keeps the 30%.

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  7. It starts at home. We keep throwing money at education; so obviously not working. Maybe the problem isn’t an education problem, but a parenting problem. How many children in these failing schools have abysmal home lives, not just poverty, but abuse, neglect, moms with revolving doors on their bedrooms, absent fathers, drug/alcohol abuse, violence, parents wrapped up in their own lives too concerned with their own momentary needs/wants/desires to spend 10 minutes reading to their own child, etc., etc.? How much of the home environment spills over into the classroom with anti-social behavior? What kind of learning, if any, is going on in the home? If parents want to hold schools accountable for the success or failure of their children’s education, then they need to take a good long look at what is going on in the home.

    I have a feeling few liked what I said. I pulled my kids out of traditional public school and now have them in a public charter/home school program (2 days in traditional classroom setting, 3 days home with me.) They used to cry, whine, beg, hoping I would let them stay home. They hated going to school. I pulled them out, because the classroom environment was hindering their learning, not to mention the mental instability of the teachers and the bullies paying it forward. My sons actually want to go to school now, partially because they are more engaged in the classroom, but mostly because they’ve noticed home days are the heavy lifting days.

  8. why not just fix the public schools already here … oh wait …. thats right, these folks dont want to see them survive.

  9. That same tired arguemnet has been used for several decades, and public schools still suck. Camden NJ, Newark NJ, East Stoudsburg Pa are among dozens of examples of attempts to solve failing districs with gobs of cash, and all have failed miserably. We’ve doubled spending on school since 1970 (inflation adjusted) and had no improvement in scores. Smaller class size means nothing until it gets below the impossible dozen students to teacher ratio.

    POTUS in his SOTU refered to German high school graduates completing the equiv of a 2 year degree. They accomplish it with highly customized educational content. The current federal “fix”, common core, will be the opposite approach by making our system even more cookie cutter.
    Its going to be pretty funny when the gop starts refering to the dem prioritization of teachers unions above students as the “war on children”

    1. If US schools were filled with German students, they’d be doing a lot better.

      Genetics is the 9 million pound goliath in the room no one wants to talk about.

      And before someone says “culture” – where does culture come from? People. Heavily influenced by genes.

      But we can all dance in circles blaming everything but the truth as to why certain demographics always do better.

      1. Culture is what you are taught by your community, it doesn’t have anything to do with the chemistry of your body when you’re born. This teaching can be passed down over many generations and even centuries, and depends on how insulated each community is from others.

        Some cultures teach their children, “the system is corrupt, so to get ahead you will have to be the smartest and work the hardest”, while others teach “the system is corrupt, you will always be a victim, so why try?”

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  11. There shouldn’t even be an argument over charter schools vs. public schools. This leads to progs demonizing charter schools constantly. School choice is the point.

    You shouldn’t have to go to a certain school because of your address.

  12. None of these “facts” matter. It’s a matter of freedom. Freedom necessitates choice, even if that which I choose underserves me.

    1. Absolutely – let schools be built and let parents choose which one they want their children to attend, for whatever reason the parent chooses.

  13. One thing rarely mentioned is that very few charter schools admit special education students. My friend’s child was expelled from a charter school for exhibiting signs of autism. They just weren’t prepared to deal with him.

    To make an apples to apples comparison, one needs to include every last student in the system. I worked at a charter school that specialized in teens with mental illness. Why? Because no other school would take them. My pay was about half of what I would make at a public school, as serving these students is expensive, so the desire to make a real difference was the reason me and my compatriots would work there.

    If success is measured only by the students a school wants to admit, that measurement is not just pointless, but disingenuous.

    1. and because your friend’s child was expelled no one should be allowed access to a charter school?

      Maybe that wasn’t the best place for their child. Allow them the freedom to find the best place.

  14. Whether a kid studies at public or charter schools, he can be brilliant student or get behind others. I know some students from respectable schools who use companies which are among top essay writing services and believe that is like an arrangement, so they don’t feel bad about it. They like some subjects and sometimes they say smart things, but writing assignments make them crazy and they use help of experienced writers. I believe that if a student wants to gain knowledge, he will study well at any school.

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