Sunday, October 04, 2009 Cracking the Education Monopoly

Los Angeles parents demand choice - and get it. Link


At 10/04/2009 1:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope they have better results with Charters because the research says there hasn't been a statistically significant difference.

I am in a state that is in the forefront of charter schools. I am also ardent on competition in all parts of society, but what I have seen is:

1. No significant differences;
2. Separation of students into Hmong Schools, Muslim Schools, etc. and other public charter segments
3. Real estate developers who have buildings to offload who eager to lease them to Charters which later fail;
4. After we got Charter schools, there was a movement for vouchers, which would end up supporting private education and raise taxes by subsidizing the private education of elite schools.

We do find that parents are more involved in charter schools, but this may also be a self-selection statistic.

School costs are just as high, in fact higher, because there are no economies of scale in joint purchasing; there are less extracuricular activities, particularly those which require networking among schools;

There are younger and more enthusiastic teachers. I wished the test scores were different, but they are not. The public schools, surpisingly, were not as badly hurt with the exodus of some of the more talented students. Overall enrollment across the school district remained the same; public schools became a little more responsive, but it was also difficult to tell whether it was part of existing improvement programs or competition.

At 10/04/2009 6:55 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Damn those pro-slavery bigots that want "freedom of choice"

At 10/05/2009 6:40 AM, Anonymous geoih said...

"...there hasn't been a statistically significant difference."

This is also irrelevant. It's an issue of liberty. If parents want to send their kids to a non-government school which is no better than the government school, then they should be able to (and not have to continue to pay twice for both the government and non-government school).

At 10/05/2009 8:57 PM, Blogger Richard Rider, Chair, San Diego Tax Fighters said...

Actually there IS evidence that charter schools do indeed often offer improvements over the standard public schools. Here's a recent WSJ article that summarizes one such study.

But even more fundamental a question remains -- why should not parents have more taxpayer-paid (at the same or lessor cost) options they can select for THEIR children?

Where are the studies proving that such options as charter schools HARM the students? Should not the burden of proof be on those who want to RESTRICT parental choice?

At 10/05/2009 10:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is a recent University of Minnesota study confirming that Charter Schools have not lived up to the promise.

Minnesota has, for the last 20 years, been very very supportive of Charter schools. This study follows others which have reached the same conclusions using data from long run programs.


At 10/05/2009 10:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is another report finding that Charter schools have not lived up to the hype based on a Stanford study of 16 states:

Before you invest in something, you should study whether it works or not. I have been quite disappointed at both the costs and the performance of Charter schools, having advocated them earlier.


At 10/07/2009 2:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

no choice. no freedom.
keep the children on the government plantation.

At 10/07/2009 3:21 PM, Anonymous Stevem said...

No statistically significant differences? Hogwash, according to economist Caroline Hoxby, the foremost researcher on education. From the Sept. 22 NYTimes:

"Students who entered lotteries and won spots in New York City charter schools performed better on state exams than students who entered the same lotteries but did not secure charter school seats, according to a study by a Stanford University economist being released Tuesday.

Charter schools, which are privately run but publicly financed, have been faring well on standardized tests in recent years. But skeptics have discounted their success by accusing them of “creaming” the best students, saying that the most motivated students and engaged parents are the ones who apply for the spots.

The study’s methodology addresses that issue by comparing charter school students with students of traditional schools who applied for charter spots but did not get them. Most of the city’s 99 charter schools admit students by lottery.

The report is part of a multiyear study examining the performance of charter schools in New York City by Caroline M. Hoxby, a Stanford economist who has written extensively about her research on charter schools and vouchers.

Ms. Hoxby found that students who attended a charter school from kindergarten to eighth grade would nearly match the performance of their peers in affluent suburban communities on state math exams by the time they entered high school, a phenomenon she characterizes as closing the “Harlem-Scarsdale” achievement gap. The results are somewhat less striking in English, where students closed 66 percent of the gap, according to the study. "


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