From Pine View Farm

Chartering the Wrong Course, Reprise 0

As a follow-up to this post, here’s a pointer to Monday’s Radio Times, which spent an hour discussing the Stanford report on charter schools. From the website:

Since 1997 when Pennsylvania first authorized the establishment of charter schools, over 70,000 students in grades K-12 have enrolled in one of 135 “bricks and mortar” charter schools and a dozen cyber charter schools state-wide . In Philadelphia, one out of four students attends a charter school and the numbers are growing. Charter schools are created by parents, teachers, community leaders, and education management organizations. And while they have become a centerpiece in the school choice movement their very existence is the source of considerable debate. A new study by Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes reports mixed results when it comes to student learning. Have Pennsylvania’s charter schools fulfilled their promise? Our guests include the report’s author DEV DAVIS , ROBERT FAYFICH of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools, and education researcher GARY MIRON of Western Michigan University.

Here’s a bit from the comments of Gary Miron at the 22 minute mark:

It’s time to revisit the original goals of the charter school reform. I’m one of those who argues that the charter school idea is a very good idea. Unfortunately what we are seeing implemented today and the growth of charter schools today being fueled by for-profit companies, is a very different reform and I’ve suggested that we use a different term for it. Let’s call this “corporate schools,” let’s call them “franchise schools.”

The charter school idea is a good idea but unfortunately we are not pursing that idea right now. We’re pursuing something different in the name of charter schools.

Follow the link to listen or listen here (mp3).

H/T to Cassandra M for tipping me about the episode.


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