Sunday, April 03, 2005
Mr. Mishel is President of the Economic Policy Institute. Ms. Jacobsen and Mr. Rothstein are researchers from Columbia University. Mr. Carnoy is also a researcher and he is from Stanford University. Their findings are certain to be controversial. From Mr. Jackson's article on the new book:
- Charter school students, on the whole, ''have the same or lower scores than other public school students in nearly every demographic category." ''You might be able to account for lower test scores if you were able to say you were serving the most economically disadvantaged,"Carnoy said over the phone from California, ''But the fact is, these aren't the most disadvantaged of black families. We tried to compare black kids with black kids on several levels, and black kids in charter schools are not doing any better and in a number of states are doing worse."
- The authors found that federal data ''fail to confirm claims that the performance of charter schools improves as these schools accumulate experience." Charter schools four years or older ''report lower scores than new charter schools."
- Charter schools are associated with increased school segregation.
- Charter Schools are characterized by minimal accountability. Despite their inability to show across-the-board improvement, fewer than 1 percent of charter schools have been shut down for academic failure.
My experience at the Cesar Chavez Public Charter High School for Public Policy is that test scores on the Stanford-9 did not improve over time. This book will give everyone in the movement something which will demand a response.