Three quirky issues you don’t hear enough about in the conversation about charter schools:
Funding. Isn’t it sort of ridiculous talk in declarative terms about whether various charter schools and charter school networks are sustainable when charter schools are so chronically underfunded? A new study from Ball State (pdf) rolls up the issue and updates the Fordham study from a few years ago.
Quality. The role that school districts have played in creating lousy charter schools (and how to improve things) doesn’t get a lot of attention in the quality conversation. A new report from NACSA* rolls up authorizer demographics (pdf). Districts are not the only culprit here but when the National School Board Association cries foul on charters, it’s worth considering where some of the lousy ones come from and whether they should have the only keys to the car…
Bad Cues. Recent data from Michigan is interesting. Michigan and Ohio have a much higher concentration of for-profit operators than other states. The CW is that the for-profit operators there are all lousy rip-off artists. Yet some of the best** schools in the state are run by an EMO. Certainly a lot of garbage in the for-profit K-12 sector, but perhaps how the IRS looks at organizations isn’t the smartest way to judge them overall?
*I’m on the policy advisory board.
**In terms of test scores (h/t on word precision to Premack).