New CREDO analysis out on charter schools in Los Angeles. Some scuttlebutt out of CA that a lot of political resistance to this one. Why? Perhaps because it shows the sector there is very strong and adding significantly to learning for kids (pdf). You’ll get a quick intellectual honestly gut check with this one – do the same people who use earlier CREDO data to attack the charter sector acknowledge that this one shows these schools are doing a good job in LA? If history is a guide don’t hold your breath because other CREDO studies have shown strong results within particular geographies and changed few minds. A reasonable hypothesis might be that the critics are not especially empirical.Too many proponents, meanwhile, fail to engage with the limitations of the charter strategy and the problems to date.
So what the study highlights – again – is the unevenness of the sector. For every LA there is a school district somewhere authorizing charters to recoup some resources with little attention to quality. For all the crazy talk about privatization, most charters are actually authorized by public school districts. But it looks like the sector is beginning to correct and overall quality should increase, you’re seeing that in the overall data from CREDO and state data. A cynic might say that accounts for some of the race to kill off charters now. For a good look at the charter debate it’s hard to beat this Josh Greenman column today. And the serious conversation is about how to address the structural challenges it points up, which will matter a great deal as the charter sector grows. You can’t run an entire school system like this.