This might be the most powerful chart on the charter movement. It appeared in CREDO’s national study.
The graph demonstrates how aggregate charter school performance would increase in Math (they also have a graph for reading) under 5 closure scenarios.
Scenario B involves closing all charter schools that achieve significantly less growth than traditional schools. Under this scenario, aggregate charter school performance in math would be a .08 effect size (in reading, charters would achieve a .05 effect).
In short, there is one policy – close all charter schools that achieve significantly less growth than traditional schools – that would firmly establish charter schooling as a high-quality education intervention.
Note: charter schools already achieve .05 effect sizes with African-American students in poverty.
“If you’re going to get into education, I think it’s really important that you invest in what works,” Clinton said. “For example, New Orleans has better schools than it had before Hurricane Katrina, and it’s the only public school [district] in America where 100 percent of the schools are charter schools.”
But the reforms shouldn’t stop there, he added. “They still haven’t done what no state has really done adequately, which is to set up a review system to keep the original bargain of charter schools, which was if they weren’t outperforming the public model, they weren’t supposed to get their charter renewed,” he said.
I wish Bill Clinton had reached out to me before erroneously claiming that New Orleans has not held up the original charter school bargain. To date, 100% of charter schools in New Orleans that have not achieved their academic goals have been closed. I know this from both data and personal experience. Four of the thirty schools or so that I was a part of launching were eventually closed for poor performance.
1. The many mediocre charter authorizers out there need to close their worst schools. If they don’t, the state should revoke their license to authorize. To their credit, many leaders of the charter school movement are pushing hard on this issue.
2. Anyone who begins a sentence “bad charter schools need to close” should end the sentence with “and the great ones should be allowed to expand.” Too often, anti-charter reform advocates are very vocal on closing bad charters but very silent when it comes to expanding the best.
In sum, everyone needs to live up to the bargain.
HT Mike Goldstein for raising some of the above issues.