Federal study: Charter schools no more successful in improving achievement, attendance or behavior

As regular readers know, I have concerns about the General Assembly’s zeal for charter schools, which I consider a quick fix approach to education based largely on renaming schools rather than reforming them.

I like charter schools; I just don’t think they are the answer to under-performing schools. Nor are they a surrogate for the challenging work of improving teacher quality.

And here’s a new federal study — the first large-scale randomized trial of the effectiveness of charter schools in multiple states and types of communities — that underscores my concerns that lawmakers believe that turning schools into charters is all they need to do to improve education in Georgia. (Legislators claim that they have other reform ideas, but take a look at the significant legislation of the past four years.)

This study has been long awaited and will spark a lot of debate. Let’s start it here.

Many years ago, when charters were just appearing on the education horizon, I attended a program at UNC where a speaker predicted that the most likely benefit of charter schools would be higher parental satisfaction because parents chose the school and thus were more likely to see positive effects, even if the academics were not better. That led to a spirited discussion among the reporters over whether parental satisfaction, in the absence of measurable improvements in key areas, was enough to deem a reform successful.

Our view was that it was not.  I still feel that way. There has to be more reason to support charters than parents feel good about them.

I recall one of the deans of Southern education reporting talking about how he found parents were often pleased with their school and their children’s teachers, even when the school was under performing.

I also want to note that the comment in this press statement — that while charters on average don’t outperform their traditional counterparts, there are wide variations among charter schools — is true of all schools.

From the Institute of Education Sciences of the U.S. DOE:

Charter middle schools popular enough to hold admission lotteries are, on average, no more successful than nearby traditional public schools in boosting student achievement, behavior, and school attendance according to a new evaluation released today by the Institute of Education Sciences. However, charter schools vary widely ‐‐ some are more effective and others less effective than nearby traditional public schools.

Those located in large urban areas and those serving disadvantaged students are the most successful. “This study adds to a growing body of evidence on this important policy issue,” said IES Director John Easton. “We examined academic progress, but we also dug deeper to try to understand more bout the variability of charter school outcomes and why some are more or less effective than traditional public schools.”

The Evaluation of the Impact of Charter Schools was conducted with 2,330 students who applied to 36 charter middle schools that held lotteries for admission. The study was directed by the National Center for Education Evaluation within IES and conducted by Mathematica Policy Research and its partners.

The study focuses on students who attended charter middle schools, usually grades 5 through 8, and who attended a school in operation two years or more. These schools had to be popular enough have a lottery because that allowed researchers to compare two similar groups of students, one offered admission to the charter they applied to and one not offered admission. On average, the participating charter middle schools served more advantaged students than other charter middle schools nationally.

The study charter schools had lower numbers of students eligible for free or reduced‐price lunch (44 percent to 62 percent nationally) and smaller percentages of students below proficiency on state assessments when they applied to the charter school (34 percent versus 49 percent in math). Additionally, fewer African‐American students attended the study charter schools than other charter schools nationally (16 percent versus 29 percent).

In each charter school, impacts were estimated by comparing average achievement outcomes among lottery winners with those of lottery losers over the 2 years following the lottery. Researchers compared performance on state math and reading tests, but because the tests varied by grade and from state to state, the scores were converted to a comparable scale.

Key findings from the evaluation include:

On average, study charter schools did not have a statistically significant impact on student achievement. However, the averages mask wide variation across the charter schools in how well their lottery winners performed relative to the lottery losers, who typically went back to their neighborhood schools.

Study charter schools did not significantly affect most other outcomes examined, except for parent and student satisfaction. These outcomes included absences, suspensions, and other measures of performance, as well as survey‐based measures of effort in school, student well‐being, behavior and attitudes, and parental involvement. However, lottery winners were 12 percentage points more likely and their parents were 33 percentage points more likely to say they were more satisfied with their schools than lottery losers.

Study charter schools were more effective for lower-income and lower achieving students and less effective for higher-income and higher-achieving students. On average, lottery winners with initial low test scores and lottery winners from low‐income families benefited academically from admission to charter schools (in math) while their more advantaged counterparts did not. However, there were no significant differences in charter school impacts for other student subgroups—such as those defined by race, ethnicity, and gender.

The variation in student achievement impacts among charter schools may be related to certain school characteristics. Charter schools in large urban areas, those serving more lower‐income or more lower‐achieving students produced positive impacts on student math scores relative to other nearby school options. Charter schools outside of large urban areas, those serving fewer low‐income students, and those serving higher‐achieving students had negative impacts on test scores. Less negative impacts were found in smaller charter schools and those more likely to use ability grouping.

177 comments Add your comment

Dunwoody Mom

June 29th, 2010
10:09 am

Basically backs up what Diane Ravitch says in her book. I wonder if Arne Duncan will respond to this study? I doubt it.

john konop

June 29th, 2010
10:22 am

The problem with the education community at times is poor research like this is even published and taken for gospel.

1) Anyone who knows anything about research methods would not look at charter schools on a MACRO since the schools use different curriculum, strategies, focus on serving different student needs…….. This is VERY BASIC concept taught in the most basic research methods class.

2) What the study should of done is look at the common factors of successful charter schools against the common factors of unsuccessful charter schools.

It seems the education establishment is either purposely manipulating studies for a political agenda and or incompetent.

North Fulton Parent

June 29th, 2010
10:22 am

This confirms exactly what many in my community have long felt. Charters may be appropriate in some areas but in many others, there is very low community support for diverting funds away from successful local schools towards an unproven concept. Rushing to create charters without understanding this dynamic has led and will continue to lead to more backlash if it continues.

john konop

June 29th, 2010
10:32 am

BTW I am really not advocating for or against charter schools. My instincts tell me that it could have a roll in public education by creating specialize choices and or helping impoverished areas with poor school performance.

With that said the key to understand the success or failure of a project is letting the facts drive the results not an agenda.

Will T

June 29th, 2010
10:36 am

This is exactly what I have always said about charters. Now, a study reveals it – charters are the same as all other schools. If parents put as much time into their home schools as they do charters, the home schools would be just as good!

EducationCEO

June 29th, 2010
10:49 am

Maureen, anyone who has followed your blog for any period of time knows how you feel about charter schools, so let me pose a few questions:

1. How would you feel, say, if you made about $15-20K less and could not afford to live in the community in which you live and your kids were zoned for sub-par schools? Not just in terms of performance, but leadership, course offerings, etc.? What would you do?

2. Since school districts are only motivated to improve schools when additional funds come into play, how do you feel about that?

3. I am glad this study noted that there are some variations when looking at individual schools, that’s the key. When you start looking at individual schools (not even charters) in Georgia and start examining how racially segregated they are, then look at the programs offered at schools in more affluent zones/clusters, you can see why some parents (mostly minority and low-income) welcome charter schools. Case in point: Gwinnett County got approval to open the Math, Science, and Technology charter school a few years ago in Duluth. For the first 2 years the school DID NOT offer transportation. How is a parent who lives in Snellville/Loganville/Lilburn but works in downtown Atlanta supposed to get their kid to school AND pick-up if they have a full-time job (they want to keep), and still get their child to Duluth? Better yet, why didn’t Gwinnett open that school in an area where the innovative robotics/technology programs do not exist in traditional schools? Or how about this one: why would the State Board of Education (SBOE) even approve that charter when the lack of transportation was an obvious barrier for minority and low-income kids? But I digress because not everyone can see the blatant push to keep some schools in Gwinnett segregated.

4. What are those of us who cannot afford private school supposed to do? Please don’t say get involved because I have been involved. The people who run the schools in Gwinnett look at Black parents like they are crazy when they begin to ask questions. I am a college-educated parent so that makes it worse, especially when you know more about the law than these building overseers, er principals.

What do you suggest? If I may, I suggest that you start focusing on the tough issues involving Georgia’s schools. Especially when districts get favoritism with opening exclusive charter schools and community-based groups are told they have to provide transportation or have millions of dollars before the board will even consider their petitions. I’ve already covered those issues in my blog but my issues cater to a different crowd than the followers you have on the AJC blog.

The big picture

June 29th, 2010
10:49 am

There’s is a key phrase very early is this blog that strikes at the heart of what’s wrong with this blog.

It’s not what the phrase says, it’s what the phrase leaves out; it’s much more important than anything that follows about charter schools, because the phrase shows, at a very fundamental level, that this blog is not willing to honestly discuss education issues.

The question is, out of 400,000 readers who will get it, call the blog moderator on it, and start demanding an honest accounting of what we really need to do to fix our failing schools?

lynn

June 29th, 2010
10:50 am

But this is the important part of the study in my opinion…

Study charter schools were more effective for lower-income and lower achieving students and less effective for higher-income and higher-achieving students

This is where the real challenge in education is. It isn’t with upper class students whose parents are high achievers. It is with those students who lack the basic support at home to do well.

In schools that serve primarily low income, low achieving students it is difficult to change the culture of the school.. Charter schools that serve this population seem to be able to do this.

john konop

June 29th, 2010
10:53 am

Will T,

If I blended the results after graduation of students from Georgia Tec with junior colleges across Georgia without taking into any consideration curriculum, major, students, degree, cost of school…….and claimed that spending all that money all college is not worth it what would you think?

This study is a bad joke.

Dunwoody Mom

June 29th, 2010
10:55 am

Lynn, perhaps we need to tighten up the requirements for creating Charter Schools, instead of approving just about every school that applies. I have read a couple of the charter applications on the GADOE website. I’m not sure how some of them were even approved – there was little to no substance.

catlady

June 29th, 2010
10:56 am

Ms. Downey: What are “deans of Southern education?”

So, it seems like the findings are: It depends. Maybe, or maybe not. Could work in some situations. Can’t really tell. Well, I hope not a lot of money was spent on this study!

Here is what I would like to see: Two schools, side by side, in the same community. Both buildings with similar amenities, but one has the word “Charter” over the door. Students from the area are assigned to the schools by matching certain characteristics: ie, race, SES., family makeup. Teachers are assigned randomly. No special curriculum is used, no parental responsibilities are required.

At the end of the year, I am guessing those ‘chosen” for the “charter” school will report higher satisfaction and slightly higher achievement. Just because of the cachet of being part of a new “charter” school.

Similar experiment: Let families apply for the charter school. Same random teachers, same curriculum. I would predict even higher satisfaction reported by those chosen students and their parents, and even higher achievement rates, given a) the effect of the cachet, b) the effect of being one of the “chosen’, c) those who apply for the school would demographically be different from those who did not.

I’d love to see this tried out. I also think the positive effects of these two experiments would decrease over time.

I actually live where something similar has happened. No charter school for 70 miles, but the county recently opened a new middle school (the county had always had just one). Even though it is the same teachers who had been at the other school, and the same curriculum, there is a perception, perhaps because the building is new, that it is a higher-achieving school, even though it draws the majority of ELL kids in the county, which might tend to lower average test scores.

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catlady

June 29th, 2010
11:06 am

Education CEO: your number 3 is a point very well taken. The barriers we place, and the intentional or unintentional collateral effects are rarely taken into account.

In my area, the Latinos “discovered” the library about 10 years ago, and were heavy users of it–especially the adult males, who used it for internet mostly. The county decided it needed a bigger building–it did–but it just so happened to “find” the land to put it waayy away from the center of town. Now: problem solved! Few of “those people” use it any more. Was it planned that way? I don’t know, but any idiot could have predicted that those of any race with transportation problems would find using the new library difficult. I hate it because many of my students, who either lived in town or came to the center of town for their parents to shop at the tiendas, now are not tied into this valuable service.

Maureen Downey

June 29th, 2010
11:08 am

@Dunwoody Mom, An interesting fact to me is that there are schools that the commission has approved over the recommendation of its panel of evaluators. Seems to me that is always risky.
Maureen

lynn

June 29th, 2010
11:13 am

I totally agree, Dunwoody Mom. The schools in Henry and White Counties (the former a commission school, the latter is not) are total jokes, meant to allow segregation or either race, ethnicity or class.

I happen to think, though, that what we are doing for low income children in most schools isn’t working and something needs to change.

Gwinnett Parent

June 29th, 2010
11:13 am

EducationCEO, what schools in Gwinnett would you consider segregated?

EducationCEO

June 29th, 2010
11:15 am

@DunwoodyMom I hope you read a few of those that were denied because their (majority-minority_ governing boards were told they were not qualified enough to handle the daily affairs of a charter school. Did anyone else notice that the Commission, until recently, didn’t even have the required number of members? Probably not.

Teacher Reader

June 29th, 2010
11:16 am

Much research in education is flawed. With all schools (public, charter, and private) there are good and bad. I have been in too many excellent charter schools that blow many “good” public schools out of the water to say that Charter School don’t make a difference.

If you lived in a school district where the schools were under performing, a charter school that offers hope and opportunity for your child is a welcomed sight.

Having been in many successful charter schools, a few qualities that I saw in most of them were: 1. Longer school year and day., 2. Teachers who were able to think outside the box to deliver lessons., 3. Teachers who were excited about teaching., 4. Teachers are part of the decision making process (There is no large group of administrators making all decisions)., 5. Student achievement is monitored and talked about with all stake holders.

EducationCEO

June 29th, 2010
11:20 am

@Gwinnett Parent It’s not really a matter of schools but almost entire clusters. ‘White Flight’ has impacted some areas negatively. Diversity is important to me but obviously there are a lot of White people who do not believe that Blacks and Latinos value education. I think it’s unfortunate and the kids will suffer. Charter school can address this issue because if you offer an arts-themed charter, more affluent parents would be willing to bring their kids back to a certain area. I am speaking from experience.

Gwinnett Parent

June 29th, 2010
11:26 am

EducationCEO, yes the reason I mentioned that was because Gwinnett has seen quite a lot of white flight to Forsyth in recent years. Much of Gwinnett has suffered because of this and unfortunately, I know more than a few people that would love to send their kids to “whiter” charters. What good is bringing more affluent parents back to certain area if they intend to promote a segregated lifestyle as a condition of living in that area? My second concern is when you strip out the most involved parents out of the existing schools, is it really feasible to expect what remains to rise to the “competitive” challenge posed by charters?

EducationCEO

June 29th, 2010
11:40 am

@GwinnettParent Sorry, I think you misunderstood what I meant by affluent parents bringing their kids back. I don’t care about where they live, so long as we have diversity in our schools. For example: If we had an arts-themed school in the South Gwinnett cluster, we would have a lottery to see who gets in. I already know that people living in North Gwinnett and other clusters would be interested in driving their kids back to this area for a school like that. sadly, I hear that the BOE now has plans to open an arts-themed school, even though they made it clear that a charter school of that nature (schedule, grade levels, etc) would not work. I am sure this school will also be located in a place inaccessible to those families who wanted it in the southern part of the county.

DunMoody

June 29th, 2010
11:58 am

I agree that this “study” likely resounds with those like our wonderful moderator (sorry, Ms. Downey) who see it as validation – but there simply is not a valid statistical foundation to its findings.

Charters are perceived as more successful because they do involve choice – one and all require parental involvement, which means that parents are welcomed by administrations. We’re all human. When we get to choose something, and we get to have a say in how things are done, we feel more connected. That certainly includes our children’s schools. Sadly, many “traditional” school models prefer to keep parents outside, particularly if administrators or teachers or the county level management want total control of the schoolhouse.

Charter status gives schools much-needed autonomy from pedagogy-du-jour, county level mismanagement, one-size-fits-all curricula and materials, etc. And yes, it’s ridiculous that only Charters get that kind of flexibility.

True education innovation would bring Charter attributes into every school in the nation – including REQUIRING parent involvement, innovation, and autonomous use of funding and materials to fit the specific needs of the children attending that school.

The big picture

June 29th, 2010
12:02 pm

Back and forth, back and forth, all the while the key issue, which in one key phrase totally exposed this blog’s bias, gets ignored.

400,000 readers; surely one of them is willing to post and hold this blog accountable.

Jennifer

June 29th, 2010
12:11 pm

So just for fun. Compare the report card results on the above three indicators : Free Lunch/Students Performing below proficiency on Math/ and African American population. Compare between two charters in Gwinnett: Gwinnett Math and Science vs Ivy Prep

I think you see some interesting results. The charter school built by the district -GMST or the independent charter rejected twice by the Gwinnett Board of Education – Ivy Prep

DunMoody

June 29th, 2010
12:17 pm

Stuck in the filter? Words fail me!

lyncoln

June 29th, 2010
12:18 pm

john konop,

The study suggests that further research should be done to follow up on your 2nd point. The study wasn’t intended to follow your 2nd point, so of course it won’t answer your question.

I don’t understand what you mean by “not look at charter schools on a MACRO”. What does that even mean? The study compared results of the students that went into the charter school lottery. They compared the results of the students in the charter school based on the lottery with their peers who didn’t get into the charter school based on the lottery.

Apparently, there is an improvement in mathematics for low-income students who got into charter schools. The study recommends that further research should be set up to see why this is happening.

It’s a very interesting study. I would like to see some follow up on why there is an achievement bump.

It’s interesting that the study found that teacher experience seemed to have little influence on the student results in this particular study.
There must be at least some difference between extremely new teachers and more experienced teachers, but I’m unfamiliar with any information on this. Does anyone have a link or study handy?

EducationCEO

June 29th, 2010
12:29 pm

@Jennifer But also keep in mind that GMST only has a handful (that’s being generous) of minority students, whereas IVY is predominantly minority. The flaw with this study is that they grouped charters together. I am sure that’s what the anti-charter backers wanted them to do. Instead of repeating this same study they need to start looking at individual charters, state-by-state, since there is no way to compare academic achievement of a school in Georgia compared to one in Massachusetts, Vermont, etc.

EnoughAlready

June 29th, 2010
12:36 pm

EducationCEO

June 29th, 2010
12:29 pm

Actually GSMST is mostly minorities, just not african-american or hispanics.

Dunwoody Mom

June 29th, 2010
12:53 pm

How can you compare Gwinnett Math and Ivy Prep? Ivy Prep is a Middle School. Gwinett Math and Science a HS?

Wondering

June 29th, 2010
12:54 pm

So, in the study, those accepted at the charter school had a lower rate of free or reduced lunch, lower level of minorities, and smaller percentage below proficiency on state assessments. These are three factors usually used to separate out those most likely to be successful in school, yet the charter schools didn’t show this advantage.

I fully expect charter proponents to point out the flaws in the study (all studies have flaws) and opponents to point to the results. More studies have to be done, but we also need to be realistic. Lumping charters into one-size fits all is just as bad as doing it with traditional schools.

There are so many variables to control for, and so much disagreement on which variables to consider. What really concerns me is that while we spin, other countries have realized they need to focus on their brightest, and they are doing so. In the mean time we insist on pouring more money at the least likely to succeed.

The big picture

June 29th, 2010
12:57 pm

Such spirited debate! Thrust and parry, sound and fury! Signifying nothing as the one phrase, and what it omits, that shows what is fundamentally wrong with our approach to fixing our failing schools is ignored.

But if 400,000 readers can’t figure this out, and hold this blog accountable for addressing it, maybe Georgia deserves its continual ranking among the bottom.

The sad thing is, while the adults may deserve their failing schools, the children certainly do not.

EducationCEO

June 29th, 2010
1:04 pm

@The Big Picture You keep posting the same comment: ‘But if 400,000 readers….’ What do you offer as a suggestion?

@Enough Already You are correct, but most conversations regarding disparities refer to under-served groups, e.g., Black/Latino/SWD/ELL/FARL (same as AYP subgroups), as those groups have less access to schools such as GSMT since they are not located in or near minority communities. As I stated earlier, during the first 2 years of operation the school did not provide transportation either.

IVYPREPMOM

June 29th, 2010
1:19 pm

Ok, lets look at Ivy Prep vs. Lanier Middle – Ivy Prep mostly black and hispanic. Lanier mostly white. My daughter who is black hated Lanier. She was spoken to like she was stupid and the teachers even spoke to me and my husband like we were idiots. Both by the way are Army vets and college grads. Ivy Prep WONDERFUL atmosphere. The whole entire adminstration cares about my daughter. If she didnt do well on a test, they informed me right away, they didnt wait until her entire grade was low. We’ve been at Hopewell Christian Academy, Sugar Hill Elementary, back to Hopewell, to Lanier Middle and now wer’re at Ivy Prep. We arent leaving. The girls help one another all the time. I dont know how many of the children would/could/should be on free lunch or anything like that but I do know that all of the parents care!!! Before you judge all charter schools and think that they dont work. Go and look for yourselves and stop listening to other people. Ivy Prep would love to give tours to anyone who is interested. Just call and ask. See with your own eyes. I dont want anything handed to my child, I want her to work for EVERYTHING like her father and I have!! Sometimes, change is good people.

@Ivyprepmom

June 29th, 2010
1:25 pm

What do you want to bet Ivy Prep doesn’t falsify discipline data, like has been done so often regular Gwinnett County schools? You think that might have something to do with the fact that Ivy Prep is so well regarded?

catlady

June 29th, 2010
1:27 pm

IVYPREP MOM: I am glad you have found somewhere that you are happy. I would have liked my daughters to go to a female school. (They both graduated from women’s colleges).

Keep your daughter in one place! Let her thrive!

IVYPREPMOM

June 29th, 2010
1:36 pm

Im pretty sure that the school doesnt falsify anything. The staff there is big on integrity for ALL. They teach by example and it is great. I know for a fact that Lanier lies out right. My kid had a bully 1st day!!

Bottom line is that we have found a place that works for us and I wish that all of you who dont approve would just not approve from afar. I dont come to your neighborhoods starting trouble for your kids. Stop causing stress for my kid. Gwinnett County schools did do what I needed them to do for MY child. Doesnt mean that it doesnt or cant work for anyone elses. But why should I have to move, why cant I just choose a different school. If you’re happy then be happy but leave me and mine alone!!!

Dunwoody Mom

June 29th, 2010
1:46 pm

Just curious, what is the Special Education and ELL enrollment at Ivy Prep?

GtMom

June 29th, 2010
1:48 pm

As a mother who graduated with a Masters in Engineering.. I find this whole study ridiculous. I went to high performing high school…and that school taught me how to take tests.. I, then, went on to GA Tech. It took a couple quarters (shows how old I am) but I learned the hard way that grades/test scores mean nothing. I had to learn how to think. Even now, I see graduates who have learned the art of taking tests and performing “well” (same cycle I fell in to but fixed while at Tech). Performing “well” on a test does not mean that you can be creative and think on your own. The kids graduating from college now are having a hard time doing real world examples because they only learned how to take tests.
I don’t care what my sons make on a Standarized Test or how they perform compared to others. All I care about is that they can use the tools given to them to come up with creative and innovative ways to solve problems. So if I get to choose and I do, I prefer to put my children in a school that teaches creativity not test taking. The traditional schools seemed to have forgotten how to teach kids to learn and spend more time teaching test taking skills so that the kids perform “well” on a standarized test. I have even heard that some Cobb County High schools devote a whole class on learning to take the SAT (WHAT????)…. what a waste! How is that supposed to teach kids to think???
Results like these mean nothing to me. I would be more interested in seeing results from the working force – who is sucessful from what groups of schools? High test scores in primary education does not mean that our kids will succeed. (for example in the early 90’s, I watched in horror at Tech as my High School valedictorian flunked out and her SAT score was a 1530/1600.)

IVYPREPMOM

June 29th, 2010
1:49 pm

Im not sure, but we do a lottery so its not like anyone has any special treatment. I’ll call and ask though!!

Dunwoody Mom

June 29th, 2010
1:52 pm

Oh, I’m pretty sure there is more to the admissions process than a lottery.

Maureen Downey

June 29th, 2010
2:02 pm

@Dunwoody, I think students have to live in certain communities for which the charter is zoned. Parents usually have to sign a contract at most charter schools. Otherwise, the admission should be no different than any other school. Lotteries are required when too many kids apply. The law allows preference for siblings and for children of the founding board. I have attended two lottery drawings for new charters and it is a pretty straightforward process.
Maureen

IVYPREPMOM

June 29th, 2010
2:07 pm

@Dunwoody Mom – No there isnt. Just because you dont like the concept doesnt mean that you know everything about it. I applied to the school, I filled out the paperwork required to get into any school, and I won!! Fair and square. I didnt pay anyone, I didnt bribe anyone. I just took a shot at a good school for my daughter and God answered our prayers to get her out of Lanier Middle.

Exactly what more could there be to it? Tell me what you are thinking since you know so much about a program that you havent even seen work with your own eyes.

Its truly ashame how people just assume that they know everything.

catlady

June 29th, 2010
2:07 pm

Dunwoody Mom: Well, the first hoop is you have to apply. That right there cuts out a lot of kids.

The big picture

June 29th, 2010
2:11 pm

@EducationCEO

A big hint is your own post:

1. How would you feel, say, if you made about $15-20K less and could not afford to live in the community in which you live and your kids were zoned for sub-par schools? Not just in terms of performance, but leadership, course offerings, etc.? What would you do?

Notice how Maureen completely skipped over it, and answered a softball to DunwoodyMom instead, because answering yours would force her, albeit hypothetically to walk the walk?

There is a built in bias in this blog, and fundamental dishonesty when it comes to discussing educational issues on this blog. Now maybe the term fundamental dishonesty is too strong, as one thing you can say about the blog moderator, more than maybe any other AJC columnist, is that she will allow even the most vociferous of criticisms of this blog to be posted.

But the built in bias is readily evident in her comments on the study; not so much it what she says, but what she, as always, omits.

A couple have commented on this in the past, but if 400,000 readers don’t get it, and don’t call into account the major newspaper that can shine a light on it, then maybe the people of Georgia are getting the failing schools they deserve.

The sad thing is, the children in those schools don’t

EnoughAlready

June 29th, 2010
2:11 pm

When I saw this article today, I reminded me of the discussion on this blog. This is dedication at it’s finest. If you have time read the article “100 percent of school’s first class college-bound” by the Associated Press.

“Urban Prep would be a charter high school. It would bring together some 150 boys from some of the poorest, gang-ravaged neighborhoods and try to set them on a new track. They’d have strict rules: A longer school day — by two hours. Two classes of English daily. A uniform with jackets and ties.

And Urban Prep had a goal — one that seemed audacious, given that just 4 percent of the Class of 2010 was reading at or above grade level when they arrived at the school in 2006.”

IVYPREPMOM

June 29th, 2010
2:11 pm

BTW, The girls at Ivy Prep 100% of them 6th and 7th grade passed the CRCT Language part!! We must be doing something right!!

catlady

June 29th, 2010
2:13 pm

Ivyprepmom: Actually, you have named several steps (and I don’t think anyone was saying you had bribed anyone in your daughter’s admission! Perhaps you are a bit sensitive toward perceived slights, perhaps for good reason in the past). You had to find out about the school. You had to secure the application. You had to fill it out. Either before or after you “won”, you had to agree to certain things (do you supply transportation, book or other fees, or provide her lunch? Do you have to volunteer?), you had to submit her previous records.

All these are things that kids at regular schools do not have to do, other than fill out an enrollment card. Sometimes they show up on the first day without even that!

Ivy Prep Dad

June 29th, 2010
2:13 pm

@Dunwoody Mom “Child Please!”…Ochocinco

Dunwoody Mom

June 29th, 2010
2:14 pm

Maureen, it’s not the lottery itself that’s the issue. It is what goes on prior to the lottery and after the lottery.

@EnoughAlready

June 29th, 2010
2:17 pm

“Urban Prep would be a charter high school. It would bring together some 150 boys from some of the poorest, gang-ravaged neighborhoods and try to set them on a new track. They’d have strict rules:”

And what can we infer? Strict discipline and academic success walking hand and hand all the way to college. I’ll bet those administrators don’t need extra erasers in their toolkit!