Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Center for Education Reform's Critique on CREDO Study

Here’s the Center for Education Reform’s critique:

National Charter Research Misfires On Charter Schools 
CREDO Report Ignores Wide Variation In State Assessments And State Law
WASHINGTON, DC – A national research study across 23 states and DC assessing charter school performance over time makes erroneous conclusions about the impact of charter schools on students, while ignoring critical distinctions among state proficiency standards and the components of each state’s widely differentiating charter school laws.

“It is hard to believe that year-after-year, smart, well-intentioned researchers believe they can make national conclusions about charter school performance using uneven data, flawed definitions of poverty and ignoring variations in state charter school laws,” said Jeanne Allen president of The Center for Education Reform (CER).

Among the two-dozen states that were the subject of study for Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) in its 
Charter School Growth and Replication report released last week, there are more than two-dozen varieties of charter law:
• Fewer than half of all states studied — ten plus the District of Columbia — have authorizers that are independent from existing education entities, a notable difference in laws and outcomes; 
• Nine states have only either school districts or the state board of education authorizing charter schools, compromising school freedoms; 
• Three states in the report do not permit flexibility from rules and regulations; 
• 11 states guarantee less than 75% of average per pupil funding; and 
• Six states limit teacher freedom from collective bargaining agreements.
All the states in the study have vastly different ways of assessing student performance. For example, charter schools in Washington, DC, are evaluated on a criteria that ineffectively measures growth, but the independent DC Public Charter School Board uses the city’s assessment and combines it with other data to create its own performance metrics which analyzes school performance over time and provides a clear, unambiguous data set from which to judge the quality of DC charter schools. 

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