Thursday, January 14, 2010

Fresh proof: charters work

The NY union's attack on charters is curious in its timing, given this recent study:

For the second time in six months, a prominent researcher has put New York City's public charter schools under a microscope and found that, overall, they're outperforming the city's traditional public schools.

This confirmation couldn't come at a more appropriate time. Last month, the state Board of Regents proposed a package of education reforms aimed at winning New York $700 million in desperately needed funding from the federal Race to the Top. A key recommendation was lifting the artificial cap on charters.

Getting the Legislature to pass the Regents' reforms requires dispelling some lingering doubts about charter schools. The latest evidence, from Margaret Raymond of the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University, should do just that.

Raymond is no charter cheerleader. Her national study of charter schools, which didn't include New York City, found mixed and sometimes negative results -- especially in states with weak oversight of charters. Local charter critics rightly praised the study's rigor. Leo Casey of the United Federation of Teachers, which is increasingly hostile to charter schools, said it "sets a new benchmark."

But now Raymond's team has brought the same methodology to New York City, and the findings are clear: Charter schools have a positive and lasting effect on students in the city's historically underserved communities -- and these results have nothing to do with "creaming" the easier-to-educate students.

BTW, here's another article about the study:


Fresh proof: charters work

Last Updated: 7:34 AM, January 7, 2010


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