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In a time of great partisan divides over almost everything in the public sector…which includes Education and Healthcare…it’s hard to be reliably and adequately informed on the truth, and the facts, and what are good or bad ideas for education and healthcare in the US going forward.

Even in the best of discourse, different interests will disagree on best ideas, but also on the facts of the matter. We aren’t omniscient beings, and some combination of objective and subjective truth is pretty much all we ever have to go on. However, currently, we do seem at a low point for useful discourse between opposing views.

PSA presumes the middle of the road covers more ground than the edges of the highway, and is thus preferrable to drive on…but there’s traffic coming both directions so it’s also dangerous. The Buddha said something about preferring “The Middle Way”…

In this post are various links to different POV on education, specifically the value of charter schools, pro and con. PSA is sympathetic to, and supportive of, our wonderful US teachers, and the challenges they face…and we are also supporters of charter schools when they are run to the highest standards and innovate new methods for implementation in the school districts nationwide.

This could, for some, place PSA  “under suspicion” by both partisan sides, which we’d regret…we want a quality discourse that involves all POV. Such are the times we live in…but the pendulum of change moves back and forth, and perhaps the middle way will once again have it’s day.

In the meantime, here’s some “resources” filled with facts and ideas relevant to charter schools, as well as of course, subjective view points on what are in fact, the facts.

CREDO at Stanford University Releases National Charter Management Organization Study

This study uses data from the 2011-12 to 2014-15 school years across 24 states, New York City and Washington D.C.

 

     •   Charter school organizations have their strongest effects with traditionally underserved populations, such as black and Hispanic students.

 

   •  Charter school operators that hold non-profit status post significantly higher student academic gains than those with a for-profit orientation. For-profit operators have results that are at best equal to the comparison traditional public school students in reading or worse in math.

 

  • Even after controlling for differences in student populations, the effectiveness of charter school organizations varies across states.
  • Schools that contract with external vendors for much or all of the school operations post significantly lower results than network operators that maintain direct control over their operations.
  • Online schools continue to present significantly weaker academic performance in reading and math compared with their counterparts in conventional schools.

Executive Summary for the above report is HEREthe full report is HERE.

Note there are a lot of definitions to understand before reports make sense. In this case, charters come in myriad forms. Also the report notes online schools,  but which online schools are being referenced…online schools for what level of K-12, and which MO was being employed? One would have a minimal idea what is actually being talked about below, without a detailed glossary at hand to reference.

Overall results show academic benefits from all four charter sectors for students in reading and gains for students attending CMO and Hybrid schools in math. Students attending a VOS or a non-network charter school have growth in math which is not significantly different from their VCRs. For Hybrid students, the effect is equivalent to an additional 51 days in math and an additional 46 days in reading. The effects for CMOs are 0.03 in both reading and math. This is equivalent to approximately 17 additional days of learning. The difference from their VCRs in reading for VOS students is 0.02 or an additional 11 days. While the subset of charter schools associated with both CMOs and VOSs have the strongest results in both reading and math, it is also the smallest sector with only 112 schools and 60,000 students.

 

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