Sunday, November 1, 2009

Charter Schools [Index to articles]


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Article: Charter schools defined

Topic: Alternative schools instead of charter schools
Article: Foundation abandonment of charter demonstration projects

Article: Seattle's psuedo-charter school      
  • State law does not permit charter schools; nevertheless, there does exist within SPS a fairly recently established school that resembes a charter school in a number of ways.  This school is known as The New School, or "South Shore." It is located in Rainier Valley. There are several ways in which this school resembles a charter school....
Charter Schools:  Are they good? Are they Bad?
  • The general view seems to be that there is zero chance of charter schools coming to this state. The voters have three times rejected charter initiatives. Charters could come to the state through a state legislative action. Arne Duncan is offering a financial bribe to states like ours to pass pro-charter and pro-merit pay (student score conditioned) legislation. It seems unlikely that the legislature would endeavor to qualify for this bribe. 
  • For an excellent communal assessment of charters, go to this link: Go to the comments on the essay, and scroll down until you find the first comment by "zb."  Starting from this comment, there are number of astute comments about charter schools.
  • Here is a heartwrenching anecdote that speaks to the problem of parasitical behavior of charter schools, especially when they are co-housed with other schools.
  • NY Daily News 07.19.09: Charter schools pawn off flunking students, says public school principal (external link)  See also the comments and related articles

    •  By Julie Weosterhoff (of PURE).   "District press releases touting the 2010 plan claimed that the CPS charter schools, the model for many Renaissance schools, were outperforming similar regular public schools. This claim is not supported by national evidence on charters. And a recent analysis by the Chicago Teachers Union shows that Chicago charters enroll a smaller proportion of special needs students, a smaller proportion of economically disadvantaged students, and a smaller proportion of limited English proficient students than CPS schools as a whole.  

    Helpful lessons from charter school experiments: 
    • Hoxby et al., September 2009.  Regardless of any flaws and biases that it might have, the Hoxby Study teaches a number of valuable lessons: 1) Stability (freedom from district interference) is important for student and school success - minimum three years worth for each child enrolled and mininum three years for a strong program to succeed in meeting AYP. 2) When student achievement is narrowly defined, significant growth in three-year achievement occurs in the context of a range of pedagogical approaches -- i.e., with pedagogical approach ranging from progressive (hands-on rich engaging student directed curriculum) to regressive (focused worksheet based teaching to the test with scripted lessons). This says that direct instruction is not necessary for significant gains in student achievement.

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