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Bill Courtney, Charter Schools, CREDO, David Seymour, Education, John Hattie.  , Partnership Schools, Research on Education, SOSNZ

David Seymour and his charter school “facts”

David Seymour needs a reality check if he thinks that charter schools are not in trouble overseas.

Here is how Save Our Schools sees some of the key evidence:

1. Professor John Hattie, in his quantitative studies, ranks charter schools at number 183 out of the 195 policy interventions that he examined in his paper “The Politics of Distraction”.

Hattie based his analysis on no less than 246 studies and concluded that within a year or so, the “different” school becomes just another school, with all the usual issues that confront all schools.

2. Popular support for charter schools is falling in the United States. A nationwide poll conducted by the “Education Next” magazine, published by Stanford University, found that public support for charter schools has fallen by 12 percentage points, with similar drops evident among both self-described Republicans and self-described Democrats.

3. The experience in New Orleans is that the locals do not believe that the charter school miracle has worked for them. This editorial by the African American newspaper, the New Orleans Tribune, in November 2017 doesn’t pull any punches:

“It’s been 12 years since our schools were hijacked. And 12 years later, many of them are performing just as poorly as they were before they were stolen. To learn that charter operators set up goals they knew were unattainable just to get their charters approved and their hands on public money and facilities is indefensible. Unless and until these pilfering reformers are ready to admit what they did and that it was wrong and then actually return public schools to real local control without charter organizations and unelected boards that come with them under the current model of return anything else they have to say sounds pretty much like sounding brass and tinkling cymbals—a whole bunch of noise.”

4. David Seymour mentions the CREDO studies but fails to mention their main finding.

In the CREDO 2013 nationwide study, less than one hundredth of one percent of the variation in test performance is explainable by charter school enrolment. Specifically, students in charter schools were estimated to score approximately 0.01 standard deviations higher on reading tests and 0.005 standard deviations lower on math tests than their peers in traditional public schools. “With a very large sample size, nearly any effect will be statistically significant,” the reviewers, Maul and McClelland, conclude, “but in practical terms these effects are so small as to be regarded, without hyperbole, as trivial.”

The reality is simple: there is no genuine educational merit in the charter school model. As John Hattie observes, “these new forms of schools usually start with fanfare, with self-selected staff (and sometime selected students) and are sought by parents who want “something better”. But the long-term effects lead to no differences when compared with public schools.”

~ Bill Courtney, SOSNZ

About Save Our Schools NZ

"One needs to be slow to form convictions, but once formed they must be defended against the heaviest odds." Gandhi

Discussion

2 thoughts on “David Seymour and his charter school “facts”

  1. Trouble is the research averages data as a matter of course. There are charter school chains in the US (eg. the KIPP setup and Uncommon Schools) which are getting excellent results, particularly for disadvantaged kids. In the UK there are a significant number Free Schools ( which I take to be a version of a charter school but I could be wrong) which are getting outstanding results. I agree in NZ the charter school model does not appear to have been a success.

    Like

    Posted by education86466 | February 9, 2018, 7:06 pm
    • The question is this, is the new (charter school) model doing any better than the one it replaced? System wide, the answer is always no. Like other types of school, some are better than others. But overall, charter schools are no better than state schools. Yet they cost more. So, if they aren’t improving outcomes and they cost more, then why are they there? Usually the answer becomes quite clear if you follow the money…

      Like

      Posted by Save Our Schools NZ | February 9, 2018, 7:16 pm

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