Saturday, May 27, 2017

Jersey Jazzman: The Facts About Charter School Finances in Camden, NJ

Jersey Jazzman: The Facts About Charter School Finances in Camden, NJ:

The Facts About Charter School Finances in Camden, NJ

Image result for big education ape University of Arkansas "Department of Education Reform

Here's Part I of my U-Ark series.

Here's Part II.


This post really should be called "U-Ark Screws Up A Charter School Revenue Study, AGAIN: Part III," as it is a follow-up to my last two posts about how the University of Arkansas Department of Education Reform messed up its latest study of charter school revenues. I'm retitling it, however, because I think the facts I present below have significance beyond critiquing U-Ark's report.

As I showed, U-Ark's claim that Camden's charter sector is receiving far less funding than the city's public schools is completely bogus (and this almost certainly applies to the other cities in their study). They double count revenues going to charter schools without attributing them to those schools' students. They don't understand that since the district has the responsibility for transporting charter students, revenues allotted for that purpose shouldn't be attributed to the district.

I'd go on about the many other methodological failures in the study, but Bruce Baker covered them when he reviewed U-Ark's report from 2014. Amazingly, U-Ark cites Baker in their latest report -- but then goes back and makes the same mistakes. Which wouldn't be so bad if the study was being ignored and wasn't influencing policy makers; unfortunately, it appears stakeholders are heeding the study's conclusions.

This, by the way, is a huge problem in education policy journalism right now: reporters will often trumpet a "new study" that knowledgable critics haven't had time to properly vet. Even if it's a piece of junk, it still gets attention; at best, the critics are given a "he said-she said" positioning that leads stakeholders to believe that even if the study has problems, it's probably still making at least a somewhat valid point.

Let's use Camden's charters and the U-Ark study as an example of why this is such a Jersey Jazzman: The Facts About Charter School Finances in Camden, NJ:



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