Thursday, June 22, 2017

New book from charter school advocates offers lots of bad advice | The Thomas B. Fordham Institute

New book from charter school advocates offers lots of bad advice | The Thomas B. Fordham Institute:

New book from charter school advocates offers lots of bad advice
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Some smart education reformers just made two thirds of a very dumb mistake. In Charting a New Course: The Case for Freedom, Flexibility & Opportunity Through Charter Schools, Jeanne Allen, Max Eden and others (including Mike McShane, Ben Lindquist, Derrell Bradford and Jay Greene) offer several solid suggestions for state policy makers, such as encouraging more small one-off charters, having more than one authorizer in a given locale, systematically auditing the regulatory burden on charter schools, and giving them latitude to hire the teachers of their choice.
That’s the one third that’s smart and timely. But the main thrust of this new volume from the Center on Education Reform is to abolish results-based accountability for charter schools and scrap careful vetting of would-be charter operators. Instead, they would rely on a marketplace free-for-all in which pretty much anyone can start a school and authorizers don’t shut (or non-renew) a school just because nobody is learning anything in it. “Standardized testing” is damned over and over again in these pages as if it were the root of all evil in today’s charter sphere.
This is a version of the familiar libertarian stance on charters (and school choice more broadly): the market will provide all the quality control that’s necessary. Quality is in the eye of the beholder, i.e., the parent—and the school operator. The heck with school outcomes.
This is idiocy. It’s also entirely unrealistic in the ESSA era. It arises from the view—long since dismissed by every respectable economist—that education is a private good and the public has no interest in an educated citizenry. Once you conclude that education is also a public good—New book from charter school advocates offers lots of bad advice | The Thomas B. Fordham Institute:

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