Our Dumb Charter Debate

That’s the topic of my School of Thought column at TIME this week. This business about how charters are no better and no worse than other public schools, on average, is a deliberate distortion that obscures some learning over the past two decades that can be applied in policy.  Put a little differently, there is a lot of attention to the randomness of charter school lotteries these days but the fact is we’ve made charter policy pretty random, too.

A quick plug for ‘School of Thought’: It’s a weekly column I began writing in September, it appears Thursdays absent breaking news.  Here are some past ones.  What we can and can’t expect from Common Core, problems with the fetishizing of value-added scores for teachers, why it may take more than ‘Superman’ to save schools, the challenges facing Mark Zuckerberg (and I’m not talking about the film), and the Fenty defeat and Michelle Rhee.

2 Replies to “Our Dumb Charter Debate”

  1. Given that I support portfolio divisions with all kinds of schools that communities want, but also given that I have been strident in my criticism of test prep & standardized testing, here is my call for some kind of unity in our consideration of charter schools.


    Your feedback, Andy, would of course be welcome. I wish I’d “known” you and your work better at Edustat in C’ville – I would have loved to talk.


  2. I would agreee that charter schools are no different to public schools. I have been a public educator now currently a charter school educator. As a charter school educator, I believe that charter schools offer parents a choice. They now have options as to where they would like to send their children. Charter schools can have the same pitfalls as public schools. We educate the same children. We have the same state standards to master. I am proud to be a part of the charter school community as I was proud to be a part of the public school community.

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