Courtesy of The Center for Education Reform.
The Center for Education Reform offers the following facts and data to refute today's editorial.
Another Black Eye For The Gray Lady
Charter School Achievement.
* The New York Times editorial specifically mentions Michigan achievement but provides no substantiating data. According to the Times "getting a handle on the problem is going to be difficult for states like Michigan, which has become a textbook example of how sloppily administered charter programs can harm students and undermine faith in both the chartering process and public education in general." But the statistics refute that claim.
* Michigan's charter high schools are making faster progress toward meeting state standards than other public schools. This is based on MEAP (Michigan Education Assessment Program) scores that show that students in charter high schools are gaining faster in math, reading, science, and social studies.
* 38.1% of seniors in charter schools met state standards on the 2004 MEAP math tests, up 2.7% from 2003, compared with 30.7% of urban schools, which were up just .2% from 2003.
* State test results from the fall of 2005 show that, as a group, students in schools authorized by Central Michigan University outperformed students in the Host Districts in all four core subjects. When the data for the four subjects is disaggregated to show the performance of Black and Hispanic students, students with disabilities, and economically disadvantaged students, those in schools authorized by CMU again outperformed students in the Host Districts in 15 of the 16 categories. The 16th was a tie.
* Where public school students are often expected to do poorly, they usually do. The state test results for urban districts bear this out. Schools authorized by CMU across the state, from Detroit to Benton Harbor to Flint, which are serving particularly high percentages of economically disadvantaged students (75% and above) are beating the odds. Students in these schools are outperforming their local districts by a very wide margin as well as producing results above the state average.
* In 2005, some schools authorized by CMU - such as Holly Academy and Walden Green Academy - have already reached the NCLB goal of 100% Math and Reading proficiency by 2014 for entire grades of students.
* For three years CMU has been consistently collecting standardized test data (Scantron's Performance Series) which clearly shows that students entering charter public schools, on average, are performing below grade level in reading and math. This data also clearly indicates that students who have stayed at the same charter school for three or more years are catching up. To date, results for approximately 9,000 students in grades 4 through 8 have been analyzed. In reading, students in grades 5, 7 and 8 are at or above the 50th percentile nationally after 3 or more years in the schools chartered by CMU and students in all grades are catching up. In math, on average, students in their first year perform below the 25th percentile while the average for students who have been enrolled for three or more years, in all the grades, is between the 25th and 50th percentile.The data show a clear and compelling pattern that the longer the students are at schools authorized by CMU the better they perform in math and reading. (Emphasis mine)
So! Big surprise, eh? The New York Times gets it wrong AGAIN. I feel bad for all of us not knowing if we can trust ANYTHING that the NYT puts in print. I especially feel bad for the lefties out there, **cough**Adrian in India**cough**, who use the NYT as a source in interpreting any kind of anything - especially studies or reports!!
These kinds of results, when studying Charter Schools, are not unusual. There are older studies out there showing the same thing: The longer a child stays in one Charter School the better they perform. If they stay in for over 3 years they easily outperform their peers in traditional public education. The minorities ESPECIALLY have shown great benefit from school choice. Sheesh - I was having this argument 2 years ago with a lefty over at MoveOn.
By the time these kids land up in a Charter School - if they are the lucky ones - they are in miserable shape academically. It does take several years for them to catch up - and then surpass - the public school kids. But catch up and surpass they most certainly do!
(Thank you CER and Jon who gave me permission to reprint their article on my blog.)