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. 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?

      Good catch Hurricane Eye, the data indeed show the charters scored much worse. 19% worse. I did the 7th grade math below.…..nt_5052575

      This is the second major math screwup in the past week, both with instagraphics. Can’t tell if Nick was involved with both.

      Also shows why scores per $1,000 borders on fraud. Nick has now gone totally rogue

      1. But if you control for race/ethnicity the charter schools have similar math outcomes at much lower costs, right? The charter schools have almost twice as many blacks/inner city kids as a percentage.

        1. But if you control for race/ethnicity the charter schools have similar math outcomes at much lower costs, right?

          No, that’s more hours of instruction, a an even more useless metric that I missed. Thanks! They get lower scores despite more hours of instruction. So Reason pulled coverup, comparing apples and oranges.

          Charters have more of their schools in the inner city, as suggested by more poor blacks. So, in effect, this compares mostly inner city charters with mostly suburban schools ? where charters START lower.

          We need charters vs TPS in inner cities alone. Or in suburbs alone. Plus, test scores are also useless. We need to know how much the kids IMPROVE that year. Might be how many kids read at grade level in the third grade, versus grade level in the fourth grade. Then compare how well the charter kids improved vs TPS kids. Anything else is useless.

          That’s where we should see the payoff from more teaching hours. Think of it as remedial math and reading, greater for inner cities in both public and private schools. The hours show they’re getting more help, but the scores will be lower because they START lower.

  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.


                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.

                  1. Let’s expose your bullshit. You link is to an anti-charter activist’s hate blog, like asking a klansman about MLK Jr. She churns out hundreds of blog posts per month since 2012 — all attacking charters ? like a full-time job.

                    It’s propaganda for cut-and-paste trolls, the flip side of that crazy Birther lawyer in (New York?) There are no sources for the numbers you cite — or anything else.

                    You don’t look for facts. Like all zealots. you look for anything to reinforce your agenda. Just like Birthers and Bachmann supporters.

                    American public education is a disgrace. Near highest costs per-pupil for schools but and among the world’s worst test schools results. We’ve doubled per-student funding since the 70s for smaller class sizes — aka featherbedding — with no improvement in test scores.

                    Were you in a coma when 10,000 New York City blacks marched on Albany, protested DiBlasio’s attack on their kids’ education. Governor Cuomo ? clever politician — supported thousands of black kids, forcing DiBlasio to back off his attack on charters.

                    This is just the beginning. A massive internal war among progressives, just like in the GOP. No more bullshit. They’e increasingly forced to make a choice between two constituencies, inner- city blacks vs teacher unions. Guess who gets all the campaign cash. Inner-city blacks have always been the biggest victims of (some) progressives.

                    1. P.S. More to Sid Finch’s bullshit.

                      I said his “proof” was a hate site, making claims with never a source.

                      I’ve since look further. For the statistics cited by Finch she provides a title but no link. So I Googled the title. which sounds official but may not even exist

                      The “2014 Progress Report” on what she claims are all schools in the New York City system. Can’t find it even using mandatory terms, or the numbers she cites.

    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.

          1. Holding a lottery doesn’t mean the lottery applicants aren’t self-selected

            THANKS! I’m gonna self-select for the state lottery.

            it doesn’t mean the school can’t kick out whoever they want.

            Why would they. The chart on this page shows their test scores are 19% worse than the public schools.

      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.

        1. Sidd’s lies are documented just above, if you missed it.

    5. Ummm, the infogrtaphic says charters scored WAY lower. Here’s the math, which should be almost obvious.…..nt_5052575

    6. 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?

      The opposite. These data show the charters scoring 19% WORSE than the public. Eliminate that wacky score per $1000, which NOBODY uses.

      “Your kid did WORSE at a charter school”
      “But they spent less, which is more efficient.”
      “But he did worse.”

      This is the same error as comparing men’s and women’s wages for ALL jobs, instead of the same jobs.

      Here, TPS has a higher percentage in suburbs. Charters a higher percentage in the inner cities. Apples and oranges. Suburban kids start from a higher base.

  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%.

  5. my best friend’s aunt makes $83 /hr on the internet . She has been unemployed for 5 months but last month her income was $21952 just working on the internet for a few hours. look at more info…………………………

  6. Slapp Daddy Jo JO aint gonna like that.

  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.

    1. See the math below. This misfuck report shows MASSIVE failure by charters.
      Using 7th grade math,…..nt_5052575

  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?”

        1. bicarytwright, quite good, but there’s one more type. When the culture is corrupt, it incentivises and rewards corruption. This can be even a small percentage of a sub-culture, even an element within libertarianism. Like Ron Paul.

          A champion of liberty who provides liberty-sounding alibis for the most vile statists and bigots on America.

  10. Umm, whoever created this flunked math. Charter schools scored MUCH worse than public schools.

    Comparing test scores per $1,000 spent is CRAZY, and I’ve been a schools activist, and elected board member since the mid-80s. Score per $1000 hides the failure.Do the math. I’ll use easy numbers, the ratios are the same.

    Assume $20,000 per public student, score is 800 or $40 per thousand
    Charters are 70% of the cost or $14,000
    Charters score 16-17% higher PER thousand, 116% x 40 = 46.4.
    What the FUCK was the score? 46.4 x 14 thousands = 649.

    Public scores average 800
    Charters average 649.

    “Your kid flunked”
    “But they spent 30% less, so were more efficient
    “But he flunked.”

    On world standards, the US sucks in math. And here’s the proof.
    A monumental screwup, trumpeting charters as FAILURE.
    Who proofreads this stuff? And why is Reason collapsing after my own 35 years as a reader?

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  12. 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.

    1. Good for you EV. Were you around for the “magnet schools” that flourished in the late 70s early 80s. Each school had a different specialty as a “magnet” attracting certain kids and teachers. The first mix to include private schools, mostly Montessori. One district hired a private “school” to teach auto mechanics.

      I ran sales training for a major corporation. The guy who created my programmed learning sold a US History course in CA. Get this. “90% or more of your students will score 90% or better on the final test, or you owe me nothing.” And the schools wrote the tests. That too is a form of choice. (Guaranteed results, the union finally killed his business.)

      To your point, my taxes are the same either way, so I don’t care if it’s public or private. Private MAY win, but so what? We screw ourselves by screeching anti-gummint, and parents see it as more important than their kids.

      I formed an entire school board slate and won a tax revolt. I was maybe the best-known libertarian in Cleveland, so was attacked for it. My answer was always the same. I want the lowest costs and highest performance for our kids. Don’t we all?

      How could I favor school choice and be running for school board? “I think school choice is inevitable, but long after my son is out of school. What can we do for our kids now, starting January 2nd?” The anti-gummint types can’t connect, so it doesn’t matter what they’re saying.

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

    1. THAT is a GREAT point. I have stolen it. We have a right to make mistakes? (gasp)

      1. Thanks.

        It seems many people confuse the rationale for their choices with the freedom to choose. By this logic, if you choose wrongly, you shouldn’t be free.

        1. It seems many people confuse the rationale for their choices with the freedom to choose. By this logic, if you choose wrongly, you shouldn’t be free.

          From a jack-booted thug. Everyone who makes a mistake, you say they should no longer be free!! All while you make a massive blunder, for all to see.


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

  14. 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. My friend’s child was expelled from a charter school for exhibiting signs of autism. They just weren’t prepared to deal with him

      Special Ed is a very specialized field. And because they largely work under measurable objectives, they blow away mainstream public education.

      I led a slate of school board candidates in the late 60s. We’d lost nearly 30% of our students, slashing our STATE per-pupil funding, but instead of laying teachers, they went for a massive LOCAL tax increase.

      We defeated eight school levies (they can run 4 per year in Ohio), got elected and began by firing the Superintendent.

      Sorry for so much detail, but I want to show how bad our schools were.

      But our Special Ed folks taught more than half the disadvantaged kids in the entire county. Even larger districts sent us their kids (and funding). So we even had dollars following kids to other school districts.

      You’re Special Ed (or similar). Even to this atheist, you’re like a gift from heaven for our kids.

      Plus, depending on your training, test scores are the worst thing to measure. You measure year-to-year growth. In schools like yours, the kids could have the lowest scores but the greater growth.

    2. 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.

      1. I had that same concern, but HE never makes a value judgment, and he OBVIOUSLY defends charters when he describes WHY teachers will work in one despite much lower wages. duh

        And read his conclusion, for fuck’s sake. Using a fact, even if invented, he argues against the notion that it’s wrong to judge the schools by who they admit.

        Our movement is mature, I guess, when we have our own pious and judgmental sect, as does the Christian Taliban.

        A best-selling book comes to mind, the critique of the Warren Commission’s report on JFK’s assassination.

        “Rush To Judgment”

  15. 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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