Wednesday, December 9, 2009

NJEA Honchos Need To Work on Reading Comprehension

NJEA published its monthly missive yesterday, this one refuting any value to charter schools in New Jersey, except as short-term “laboratories” to test “best practices.” Specifically, the “NJEA News Service” cites Bruce Baker’s analyses of charter schools throughout the country. Here’s NJEA’s summary:
In fact, data released by Rutgers university researcher Dr. Bruce Baker indicates that charters perform at a level below most public schools.
In fact, here’s Dr. Baker’s recap on his blog, SchoolFinance101:
So, what does this more complicated, but still not complicated enough analysis tell us? It tells us that average charter school performance from 2004 to 2006 on elementary assessments is no different from that of average performance in other poor urban schools – specifically the host districts of those charters. It just says this in a more complicated way. Sometimes simple averages – when not deceptive – can be sufficient.
In other words, Baker, no charter school advocate, concludes that most charter schools perform at a similar level to traditional public schools.

The NJEA leadership is doing no favors for its members by distorting borrowed data. We know it's threatened by the charter school movement and Obama’s Race To the Top criteria, but that’s no excuse for political propaganda disguised as scholarship.


Bruce said...

Thanks for the clarifications and link to my blog.

Now... while it is fair to say I am not a charter advocate, I am also not anti-charter, as my actual peer reviewed research publications indicate. I'm in favor of good schools and wish to help fix and/or close bad ones. Most importantly, I'm in favor of throwing some actual data into any conversation and looking at any reform with a critical eye on the data.

This includes looking at who charters serve and/or how reliant successful charters are on philanthropy for their success.
Both are issues that severely constrain the ability to use charters as a broad-based solution.

Thanks again!

NJ Left Behind said...

Sure. I admire your analyses and understand that you're not anti-charter. You go where the data leads you. I wish more people did!