promoted by Rosi
Given the Star Ledger's overtly biased opinions about public education and teachers—most notably their New Year's day work of fiction and the firestorm it created in the Twitter/blogospheres (this link to the piece and my response also contains links to other opposing opinions including SOSNJ and NJParents1)—I do commend their Dec. 27 editorial, The push-back against charter schools, for trying to see both sides of this debate. But it does not go far enough, and ends up perpetuating some long-standing myths about these publicly funded but privately run schools.
Let’s start with the myth that they are a cure for failing schools. They are not. Two extensive studies done in the past two years, and partially funded by billionaire-turned-education-reformer Bill Gates—the CREDO at Stanford University study, and Gates’ own Center for Reinventing Public Education study released in November—conclude that the majority of these for-profit institutions do no better than their public school counterparts. A small number are better; many are worse. The latter study went so far as to say that the better ones “are not statistically significant.” So why is the state pushing them? Because they provide cheap alternatives to state funded education, while allowing wealthy investors to double their money in seven years and get a 37% tax break on their investment with little to no financial or academic accountability.
Myths continue, after the fold.