This search was spawned by the letter (that Kevin put up) of damage control by the current US Secretary of Education to head off the firestorm that his pet project (the increase of numbers of charters) created as it burns its way up to his door

It is a grave admission that the original idea of charters…( ie. give money to people who know nothing about education, … and don’t look to see how they will spend it, and we’ll all have great schools…). is a complete failure.

For guess what’s happening?  Everybody is stealing the free money.

With hindsight we can look back and say what in the hell were they thinking?  How can anyone give money to every panhandler asking for it, and expect result better than the experts are already delivering?  But that is exactly what was done…

And anyone who today defends charters in this age of enlightenment, is an enemy of the state.  Well, at the very minimum, they are an enemy of every parent of school-aged children in that state.  For unless a charter does exemplary, unless it is totally amazing and its students excel like not others, it is a net drain on the entire system from which it steals students and money ….

If the charter school IS as good as I described above,  charters still go on to hurt 4 people for every 1 they help… Now if that charter turns out to be no better than the public school (which is almost always the case), then every 5 out of 5 students are hurt whenever a charter opens up in their district.

This is not new info.  Gubernatorial candidate Jack Markell uttered the exact same himself, in a WDEL sponsored debate against John Carney and Mike Protack back in 2008…

But this may be news to you because you have been habitually lied to by the charter school network, by Rodel, and where most of us saw this over the history of the last 25 years, the News Journal… 

(Screw it, enough preface…)

How much do you really know about charters?

Charter schools in Texas show less progress in both reading and mathematics compared to their district school peers. This shortfall in learning can be equated to a student losing about 14 days of learning in reading and 29 days of learning in math based on an 180‐day school year.

In Ohio, 44 percent of the charter schools in reading and 48 percent in math have low levels of absolute achievement and low yearly increments of academic growth for the school years studied. On average charter school students in Ohio have less learning in a year than their district school peers. This shortfall in learning can be equated to a student losing about 14 days of learning in reading and 43 days in math based on a hypothetical 180-day school year.

In California on average, charter students in California did gain an additional 14 days of learning in reading over their district school peers, but lag behind their district school peers by 14 days of learning in math. This is a 7 day increase over the last study done in 2009, primarily due to the failure of many poor and mediocre charters. Most of that gain came from Hispanic students, especially those in poverty who did better in charters than their public school peers, by a sizable amount.

In New Orleans where the inner city all-charter district skims off 80 percent of the public school students, the results on paper appear better. Still, even then, only 50 percent of New Orleans charter schools have significantly more positive learning gains than their district school peers in reading and 56 percent in math. Which means that despite having 85% of the top students, those public schools having 20% of the worst students, are keeping up 50-50 with New Orlean’s Charters.

Nationally 25 percent of charter schools have significantly larger learning gains inreading (than their next door public schools), while 29 percent do so in math.

Which means that 75% (ELA) and 71% (Math) of public schools are as good, or better than their charter counterparts…..

Nineteen percent of charter schools have results that are significantly worse thantheir district school peers in reading and 31 percent do so in math.

Which means Charters are imposing on 2 out of 10 American students in reading (by holding them back), and 3 out of every ten students in math….

Most startling was the reason for the Charter gap closing……

Charters in the original 16 states (2009 study) have made modest progress in raising student performance in both reading and mathematics, caused in part by the closure of 8 percent of the charters in those states in the intervening years since the 2009 report as well as declining performance in the comparison traditional public schools over the same period. The public school decline in this study was principally due to increased funding constraints imposed on public schools as the charters stole their students.

So as we’ve been saying here all along, this study verifies that the entire population is getting dumber because of our allowing charter schools to steal money away from public schools.

There are two ways to fix this… Ban charters and let public schools take them over, or…. fund charters strictly by line items in each state’s budget and leave the per-student funding formulas to continue to flow to the feeder public schools….

Either way. But do it now. Children grow. They wait for no one.