Archive for the ‘Charter Schools’ Category

The real statistics for Georgia’s charter schools

Of all the worthless statistics that get thrown around in the charter-schools debate, perhaps the least important is the comparison between all charter schools and all traditional public schools statewide.

It’s a favorite figure among opponents of the constitutional amendment on this November’s ballot, which would affirm the state’s ability to create public charter schools. Among those who have trotted it out is state schools superintendent John Barge.

Here’s the statistic: In the 2010-11 school year, 73 percent of all Georgia public schools met the federally mandated adequate yearly progress, or AYP, while only 70 percent of all charter schools did.

With results like that, why bother with charter schools? Right?

While Barge and his fellow travelers in the educational establishment are correct about this figure, it is entirely meaningless in the current debate.

Utterly, wholly, completely meaningless. Irrelevant. Misleading, in fact.

For starters, that 73-to-70 …

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Georgia charter schools amendment gets boost from RNC

In a state as red as Georgia, local suspense concerning the presidential race died with March’s GOP primary. Nor will any coattails worn by Mitt Romney sweep across our red clay: The only contested statewide races for November are the oft-neglected ones for the Public Service Commission.

No, the only question facing everyone from Trenton to Thomasville whose outcome is unclear is the charter-schools constitutional amendment. One surprise from last week’s GOP convention was that champions of the amendment, and school choice more broadly, got a three-pronged boost.

Let’s hope they paid attention. And are cutting ads from the video.

It came from the very top of the party, as Romney himself said education reform would be one of his tools for reinvigorating the economy. Specifically, he said, “When it comes to the school your child will attend, every parent should have a choice, and every child should have a chance.”

Florida’s Jeb Bush, whose gubernatorial record on …

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Barge gets it wrong by opposing charter-schools amendment

Few people claim to be a true conservative by complaining about preventing judicial activism and saving money. But state schools superintendent John Barge tried it last week.

On Tuesday, Barge proclaimed his opposition to a constitutional amendment that would ensure the state’s authority to create charter schools. Barge cited three key factors: his support for local control, his desire to limit government, and the $430 million he said the amendment would cost the state over five years.

But Barge left out a few things.

I won’t spend much time on local control. As I’ve explained before, no control is more local than that wielded by parents and students, who would be empowered by this amendment. To fret over whether the state or a local school board grants them that power is to focus on the wrong question.

Barge’s reference to limited government concerns the state charter schools commission which the amendment would re-establish, reversing a 2011 state Supreme Court …

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