You can thank us later, Oklahoman, for correcting the spin on your headline.
Oh, about your assertion that charter school success is undeniable: We’ve done some very basic investigative journalism to refute your claim. Even better, the information we needed was only a Google search away. Back in the day, we actually had to go talk to people and stuff to find the other side of the story.
Easy Passage Of Charter Bill A Sign Of Progress In Oklahoma
But the subsequent successes of charter schools, which are now undeniable, have forced a reassessment. Few things highlight this fact more than the overwhelming bipartisan support given to a new law that will allow traditional public schools to duplicate many elements of the charter model.
‘School choice’ is an idea whose time has passed
Urban charters, like other schools embracing win-lose policies, helped some children gain access to a better education while leaving others behind in even worse conditions. Thus, choice helped create schools with more brutal concentrations of kids who have endured extreme trauma from generational poverty. And, we must not forget, many charters and private schools have failed in their own right — imposing education malpractice, increasing segregation and opening the doors to corruption.
Perhaps the worst thing about today’s school choice is that it has created a climate that normalizes the brutal behavior of the nation’s most successful “No Excuses” chain, Success Academy, which was captured in this New York Times video.
Former OKC teacher: Low-income children of color hurt most by choice-driven reforms
While I respect Oklahoma City’s KIPP, the hard fact is that the market for “no excuses” charters maxed out years ago. Some students feel comfortable with their behaviorist pedagogy that works in a few high-poverty charters. But if Oklahoma City followed the lead of Memphis, Tenn., and New Orleans in expanding “no excuses” charters, we would recreate the tragedy of the 1980s economic bust when crowds of erstwhile students wandered our streets throughout the school day. Memphis is No. 1 and New Orleans is No. 3 in the percentage of kids out of school without jobs.
Even better, even the National Collegiate Athletic Association has gotten on board with pointing out the failures of charter schools — including at least one in Oklahoma.
NCAA Rejects Coursework from 24 Virtual Charter High Schools
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) this month notified 24 schools, affiliated with virtual school provider K12 Inc., that their coursework would no longer be accepted for the initial eligibility certification process for prospective Division I and II athletes. According to a statement from the NCAA, the coursework does not fulfill its course requirements for nontraditional high schools.
Beware the Charter Attrition Game
Reformers tend to make two very different arguments about charter schools. Argument #1 is that charter schools serve the same students as public schools and manage to put public schools to shame by producing amazingly better results on standardized exams. Therefore, reformers claim, if only public schools did what charter schools do (or better yet, if all public schools were closed and charter schools took over), student learning would dramatically increase and America might even beat South Korea or Finland on international standardized tests. When it is pointed out that, as a whole, charters do no better than public schools on standardized tests , reformers will quickly turn their attention to specific charter chains that, they claim, do indeed produce much better standardized test results. So what’s the deal with these chains? Well, in every case that has been subjected to scrutiny their results are extremely suspicious. Here is a short list of examples:
How to Analyze False Claims about Charter Schools
An experienced researcher saw a story in the Economist about charter schools. It was, as is typical among news stories, incredibly naive. The writer didn’t ask the right questions. Maybe he already believed in the charter “miracle” story and didn’t ask any questions.