Thursday, August 25, 2016

Jersey Jazzman: Charter Schools: A Few Bad Apples, Or a Whole Barrel?

Jersey Jazzman: Charter Schools: A Few Bad Apples, Or a Whole Barrel?:

Charter Schools: A Few Bad Apples, Or a Whole Barrel?


Charter school advocates are not happy about John Oliver's last show, in which he documented the many problems with charter schools:






Profit-taking, corruption, lack of transparency, mediocre-to-poor performance... doesn't sound like "freedom from the education bureaucracy" is all that great after all.

Predictably, the professional charter cheerleaders rushed to disavow all that Oliver had uncovered. Here a statement from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, as reported by Valerie Strauss in The Washignton Post [all emphases in this post are mine]:


“The August 21 episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver examined the critical importance of strong charter school authorizers and laws. The program began by spotlighting one of the thousands of high-performing charter schools that are opening doors of opportunity for students – especially those living in low-income communities. High-quality charter schools like these are the norm, giving families access to local, public, and effective educational options in communities where traditional district schools aren’t meeting the needs of students.
“Most of the program focused on charter schools in three states that were engaged in practices that were either questionable or unethical. These practices are unacceptable, but are not representative of charter schools nationwide. Furthermore, many of the examples featured are years-to-decades old, and fail to reflect the significant progress that the charter school movement has made in the areas of oversight and accountability.
Nelson Smith, Senior Adviser to the National Association of Charter School Authorizers and former CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, feels likewise:

If this stuff were actually typical of charter schools, I would have bailed out of the movement years ago. But it’s not, and I haven’t.
Now, the writers at Last Week Tonight probably aren’t statisticians, but this is known as an Unrepresentative Sample. Except for a brief nod to KIPP’s graduation rate, the entire segment was a parade of horror stories, including one dredged up from 2010. Not since Dick Cheney got hold of the Iraq briefings have we seen cherry-picking on this scale.
Why, it's just not fair for Oliver to focus on the "bad apples" -- look at KIPP! It's thereal representative of the charter sector! Sure, we need to get rid of those few bad actors, Jersey Jazzman: Charter Schools: A Few Bad Apples, Or a Whole Barrel?:

LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION

LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION
EduBloggers

Latest News and Comment from Education