Does Accountability strangle Innovation? Education reformers would have you think so.

Oy vey, public schools need
accountability, so we can know who is failing and get rid of them. Charters and
Voucher schools don’t because it hurts their innovation. Um is it just me but
are the education deformers, err, reformers attempting to have their
cake and eat it too?
Get ready to be bamboozled, hoodwinked
and out and out lied to in 3, 2..

From the USA Today:  Charters were
conceived as an alternative to underperforming public schools. This allowed
educators and entrepreneurs space to create new schools and new teaching
models. The fact that education dollars were now allowed to go to schools
chosen by parents and children generated competition, better matched students’
interests and needs, and gave teachers the opportunity to exercise their own
judgment and be accountable for the results.

Objective analysis has also found charter schools to be successful,
particularly with students from low income backgrounds. In 2013, researchers at
Stanford University studied charter schools in 27 states and found that, on
average, students in charter schools outperform traditional public school
students in reading, and do about the same in math. Students below the poverty
line and African-American students were both found to fare better in charter
than in public schools when their standardized test scores were disaggregated.

This is the happy story part. But creeping bureaucratization and regulation
are endangering the entire charter school movement.

The author went on to complain how
charter schools in some states had to take the same tests and evaluate their teachers
the same way that public schools had too. I went on to wretch.

If charter schools were described what the authors, Rick Hess and Michael McShane,
two long time public school haters, then maybe people wouldn’t be fighting
against them.  President Obama may have buried
his head in the sand but it is all to clear to those paying attention that
charter schools as a group have become profit centers for mercenaries’ often
dubious innovation at best. But what gets me and should tell you all that you
need to know, is if they think students’ interests and needs need t be served
and teachers should have the opportunity to exercise their own judgment and be
accountable for the results, then why aren’t they advocating for those things
in public schools, you know like most public school parents and teachers are
already doing. They don’t do that because they haven’t figured out how to make
a buck.

Also what objective analysis are they looking at and does the Stanford credo,
on average really say that charter schools are doing better? It says that in Florida
one of the biggest charter states around, where over 250 have opened taken
public money and closed leaving families and communities in a lurch, are
lagging behind.  

Here is a link to the CREDO http://credo.stanford.edu/documents/NCSS%202013%20Final%20Draft.pdf
go to pages 66 and 69 and see if charter proponents
should be really having a party and don’t forget all the stories about then
counseling out poor performers and discipline problems and how they take fewer
ESE and ESOL students as well.  Also don’t
forget that many charter schools are opening in the affluent neighborhoods
where kids generally do better and that schools like KIPP and the Harlem renaissance
charters spend a lot more than their public school neighbors. I look at the
charts and see that despite numerous advantages charters meek out a point here
or there but then again I am not trying to get rich off of them.  Finally the authors included a dozen self-serving
links but couldn’t provide one to the CREDO, I wonder why?

Ultimately their message seemed to be accountability, soul crushing and
stifling accountability, that’s good for public schools, just give charters
more money and trust us.

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