Rebranding Public Schools as New Charter Schools
Charter schools are a silver bullet for urban education. But not for any of the reasons you might think.
Charters, as research reveals, don't achieve particularly impressive results. In a study conducted by the Stanford University-based Center for Research on Education Outcomes , or CREDO, 17 percent of charters outperformed their traditional public school counterparts. But nearly half performed no differently. And more than a third—37 percent—produced results that were worse. Other studies have produced similar results. In short, charters are on average not that different from traditional public schools: Some are high performers, some are basement dwellers, and the vast majority are someplace in between.
Yet ask Americans what works in urban education, and you're likely to hear something about charter schools. As polling data reveals, support for charters has grown nearly every year for the past two decades and now hovers around 70 percent. And with backing from the Obama administration, the movement is booming. Roughly 2 million children in 40 states and the District of Columbia attend charter schools , with...
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