Project Aims to Cut Through Fog of Studies On Charters
Scholars target multiple audiences in effort to clarify issues clouded by ideological disputes.
Billing itself as a neutral voice in a contentious national conversation, the National Charter School Research Project has spent the past three years trying to bring a clear-eyed approach to the highly polarized debate over the independent public schools.
The project aims to bring “rigor, evidence, and balance” to such questions as how charter schools’ academic merits compare with those of regular public schools, while at the same time bridging the gulf between scholars and other players in the education policy world.
“Our goal is to have something that an intelligent layman will understand, and that an academic will think is solid,” said Paul T. Hill, the chairman of the NCSRP and a prominent researcher on school choice at the University of Washington in Seattle. Mr. Hill has long shown sympathy for the concept of charter schooling—and has written extensively on it— even while he has pointed out...
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