Thursday, December 16, 2004

Do Not Worry 

Here's the story by Michael Dobbs of the Washington Post regarding the latest study comparing the value of attending a charter school versus a traditional public school. From the article:

The survey by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), which describes itself as "the nation's report card," showed that 58 percent of fourth-grade students in charter schools performed at a basic level in reading, compared with 62 percent in traditional public schools. When the results were adjusted for race, students at the traditional public schools in the survey still did slightly better, but the margin was deemed "statistically insignificant." Low income students at regular public schools generally outperformed their charter school counterparts.

Keep repeating to yourself, "charters are start-up businesses, charters are start-up businesses." With all the challenges facing these institutions (writing the charter, going through the approval process, finding a facility, hiring the staff, marketing the school to the public, obtaining furniture and equipment, writing policies and procedures, developing a curriculum , and on and on and on) it is really fortunate that no one has been hurt. We went through the same learning curve with school vouchers and now we are seeing that this population of students is excelling. Do not worry.

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