Having looked at many of the charter propositions across the United States this past year, i can say they all tout how their scores have either climbed or remained near the top in their categories… Here in Delaware both Newark charter and Wilmington Charter were awarded prizes recently for their academic excellence…

The privateers all chimed in.  “See what’s possible?  Why can’t public schools perform as well?  What we need are more charters…”

They forgot the difference between charter and public schools.  The charter gets to pick the student.  The public has to take the student….

This fact underlies every report that states Charters Schools rock. They don’t.  For in every report that delves deeper and compares students of equal income levels between public and charter, those in public are 20% higher… In  other words, they are getting a better education per student, but the charters receive the glory because all they have, are students already considered top notch.  The sad thing, is those top notch students are receiving a B- education in charters, when they could be getting an A+ education in public schools.

We know this, because when we compare the top students in public schools with the top students in Charter schools, the public schools stomp them flat.

How can this be you ask?  Common sense should tell you why.  If you have a bad kidney, would you prefer to go to a hospital that regularly deals with kidneys that are bad, or would you opt to visit the former miracle man who lives in a tree with his cranky wife? (Princess Bride reference). Public schools have been teaching for years. Charters are start ups. Public schools are trained in educational techniques. Charters are investors with money who want a return on their investment.  Public schools have plans for every contingency; Charters make it up as they go along.

There is logically no way a Charter can outperform a public school, unless, unless, it is allowed to steal all the top students out of a system and can then say, look, we’re smarter than they…..

A Stanford University study performed by their Center for Research on Education Outcomes, found that even with stealing the cream of the crop, 34 percent of charter students did worse than their public school counterparts, 49 percent stayed the same, and only 17 percent did better.

Research from the same study out of Stanford found charter schools to enroll less students of color, less students with special needs, and fewer English language learners than public schools. Some charter schools are able to push out low-performing students before they take tests as a way to bolster their test scores….

Reformers would have us believe that parents are doing the choosing but in reality it is the charter schools, many which are for-profit corporations, who actually get to choose….

If public schools could pick the more desirable students and weed out those who were weak academically they would not be classified as a public school.

And then, there is that elephant-in-the-room problem. What to do with all those students left behind in public schools, especially those schools who need more intensive interference, but now share far less resources to accomplish anything substantial…..?

Charter schools kill school districts. The Charter School distraction has kept American education revolving in the backwash for 20 years now.

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