Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Responses to CREDO Study

The CREDO study tracked four “super-networks”, showing very good results for KIPP and Uncommon, and very poor results for Responsive Ed and White Hat. This led one of my readers to write:

Hi Whitney,

I think you are right to be skeptical about the “virtual twins” in the CREDO study.

Responsive Education Solutions (Responsive Ed) is based in Texas and focuses on dropout recovery. In fact, several districts contract with them to help extremely struggling students graduate. For example:
My understanding is that the ISD gets credit on the state accountability system for the graduation and the charter schools get the standardized test scores. So it is a win-win for the district.

It is not surprising therefore that their students' standardized test scores would be lower than the schools these students would have attended.

It is also not surprising that the test scores in these schools would fail to increase over time – they are constantly getting a new supply of struggling students!

This is one of the many dangers of judging schools solely by standardized test scores. This is why I am very skeptical about labeling schools as low-performing, especially specialized charter schools.

Best regards,
Matt Prewett
Volunteer – Texas Parents Union

I checked with two other very knowledgeable friends from Texas, who add:

I think they are doing solid work with a group of tough to serve kids who have been screwed by the system. 

I like them and agreed with what your friends writes – I really worry that the CREDO study didn’t take dropout recovery account – no way in hell it’s fair to compare RES to a KIPP or Uncommon or any other college prep CMO. 

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