Original Proposal – Revisiting The Issue Of Charter Schools: Stanford University vs. Stanford’s Hoover Institution – Oct 13


Stanford University’s Indictment of Charter Schools –

“A national study in 2009 concluded that students in most charter schools performed no better than those in traditional public schools. Researchers at Stanford University, led by economist Margaret E. Raymond, analyzed data from 2,403 charter schools in fifteen states and the District of Columbia (about half of all charters and 70 percent of all charter students in the nation at the time) and found that 37 percent had learning gains that were significantly below those of local public schools; 46 percent had gains that were no different; and only 17 percent showed growth that was significantly better…The results were sobering, especially since the study was funded by such pro-charter groups as the Walton Family Foundation and the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation.”

[Quotation from p. 142 of “The Life and Death of the Great American School System” by Diane Ravitch (NYU’s Research Professor of Education and a former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education) – published 3/2/2010 by Basic Books and the focus book of our 9/12/2012 meeting.]

“Legal Brief for The Defense” – from Stanford’s Hoover Institution

“Charter Schools and Their Enemies” by Thomas Sowell (Basic Books 6/30/2020 – 132 pages sans appendices-notes-index – Hardcover $18.69 + shipping or $18.99 Kindle from Amazon.com).

Presumably Thomas Sowell will recognize Stanford University and its 2009 study as the CHIEF ENEMY of charter schools.

And hopefully, he will have more recent information on the effectiveness of charter schools – or lack thereof.

After all, we observed on both 9/12/2012 when we focused on Prof. Ravitch’s “Death and Life” and 6/17/2015 when we focused on her "Reign of Error, the Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to American Public Schools" (Alfred E. Knopf 9/17/2013) –

(1) The relatively-poor performance of charter schools in 2009 came despite their admitting only students of parents who were functional enough to apply and then expelling students who did not meet performance standards.

(2) The relatively-poor performance of charter schools in 2009 appeared to be the result of inadequate governmental-regulation standards – many of their teachers had no qualifications and, indeed, quite a few charter schools were headed by former public-school janitors who seized their opportunities to leap from bottom to top.

Indeed, we remarked in our 9/12/2012 e-mail campaign to President Obama that charter schools staffed by unqualified personnel “makes no more sense than closing a police precinct in whose jurisdiction a crime is committed and hiring amateurs in their place.”

BTW, Prof. Ravitch liked that comment so much that she included it, without attribution, in “Reign of Error.”

NB: We are delighted when anyone appropriates our ideas, with or without attribution.
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