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