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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press It is a Fact that Charter Schools Don't on Average Improve Performance, Not Just Something that the Teachers' Union President Says

It is a Fact that Charter Schools Don't on Average Improve Performance, Not Just Something that the Teachers' Union President Says

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Tuesday, 20 March 2012 07:02

The NYT had a bad case of he said/she said reporting this morning in an article that reported on a panel's recommendations for improving the nation's education system. The article noted the panel's recommendation for increased the choice of schools available for parents to select among. It then cited comments from Randi Weingarten, the President of the American Federation of Teachers, saying:

"school choice options like vouchers and charters, which use public funds but are run by a third party, have not proved to be sustainable or to improve schools."

This is not just something that Ms. Weingarten says, it also happens to be true. Extensive research has found that the vast majority of charter schools do not result in better performance by standardized test measures than the public schools, and a substantial portion do markedly worse.

The NYT should have pointed out that Ms. Weingarten's assertion was true and not left it to readers to try to decide between competing claims. The NYT's reporters have the time to investigate these claims, its readers do not.

Comments (7)Add Comment
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written by Kat, March 20, 2012 9:25
Here's more from Ms. Ravitch-- on Davis Guggenheim's commercial for charter schools, Waiting for Superman:
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2010/nov/11/myth-charter-schools/?pagination=false
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written by Kat, March 20, 2012 9:32
Try the link again:
http://www.nybooks.com/article...tion=false

I like this piece because it discusses some of the NYT"s favorite charter schools in NY. Of course, Mr. Guggeneheim did not come to my neck of the woods and check out any of "Success for All Academy" (fictional name, but you get the idea) charters located in some former appliance mart.
So much for policy
written by gary fitzgerald, March 20, 2012 12:10
Didn't the Times just recently announce that it would no longer do he said/she said articles? Or did I just imagine this.
Craig from San Leandro
written by Craig, March 20, 2012 12:48
I was hoping to make a comment on a recent appearance of Dean Baker on KPFA complimenting Loser Liberalism especially the Bogoyovich reference about corporate governance and corruption . Quality education may be hindered by corporate governance , since Europe has more workers on their boards , fewer jobs exported overseas and many more industrial apprenticeship programs for their youth. Rosabeth M Kantor in this months Harvard Business Review claims 4 percent of our young are in apprenticeship programs while over half the young Swiss, German and Austrian youth are in skill development programs. That to me is quality education.
What gary said
written by David in NYC, March 20, 2012 1:44
Not only do NYTimes reporters have the time to do this, they have the obligation to do it. It is their job, presumably.
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written by liberal, March 20, 2012 3:07
gary fitzgerald wrote,
Didn't the Times just recently announce that it would no longer do he said/she said articles? Or did I just imagine this.


I thought it was NPR.
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written by J, March 22, 2012 12:28
On average is the key phrase. These schools do make a difference in jurisdictions where the alternatives are abominably bad. This does not detract from the fact that some charter school are the difference between a quality education and being trapped in an environment with lowered expectations.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.

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