Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Comparing Charters To Traditional Public Schools 

Michael Dobbs of the Washington Post has a refreshing unbiased look at the efforts to compare the quality of traditional public schools with charters in Washington D.C. From the article:

Jeffrey Henig, a Columbia University professor of education, bemoaned "a rush to print" by researchers who want to be part of a topical debate. Henig said his own research into District charter schools showed "what anybody would find if they are being honest -- a mixed picture."

The story compares two schools, Meridian Public Charter School and Garrison Elementary School, as an example of how difficult it is to judge which educational model works best. It was interesting to me that he picked Meridian. I have a friend who teaches at that facility and so I am well aware of the growing pains it has experienced. I sense that she is an excellent teacher. But when the administration noted that the test scores of her students were exceeding expectations in literacy but were lagging in math they made the decision to take her out of the classroom as a regular instructor and made her a reading specialist. Do you think this happens in traditional schools?

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