My take on the Stanford charter school situation is below. Punchline: This is sad in some powerful ways, it’s not funny.
But the New York Times story demands a bit more discussion. (Plus it buries the lede…check out the Shalvey quote)
In the story Linda Darling Hammond points out that the Stanford school takes all kids. Sure, but so do many other public schools (including some in the community including Aspire Public Schools, a network of public charters established by a former CA school superintendent) that have better results. More on that below. That uncomfortable reality also makes Diane Ravitch’s quote in the story really curious. This situation doesn’t illustrate much about the debate about schools and poverty overall, but it does again show that there are big differences among schools serving similar kids and that powerful and intentional instruction matters.
Here’s one screen shot from Educational Results Partnership, more data there you can check out yourself. Despite the variety of additional resources (fiscal and otherwise) the school had at its disposal, it substantially under-performs similar schools on a variety of measures – so demographics are not an acceptable excuse here.