* As I made clear yesterday, I like choices in education and am not a big fan of the educational establishment and the educational system we have here. But now that mandatory student testing shows there’s not a whole lot of overall difference between Chicago charter schools and Chicago neighborhood schools and on the same day as a big pro-charter school rally in Springfield, the Tribune editorial board trots out a study from three years ago that shows charters are better…
Not every charter is superior to local schools. Some lag and should be shuttered. But check out a recent study by Mathematica Policy Research on the effects of charter schools in Chicago and Florida. The group found that charter high schools “appear to have substantial positive effects on students’ long-term educational attainment.” In Florida, researchers found evidence that charters may have “large positive effects” on students’ later earnings.
Bottom line: “Charter high schools seem to be endowing their students with skills that are useful for success in college and career but that are not captured by test scores.” [Emphasis added.]
This is the same Chicago Tribune that demanded more testing of students and teachers during the education reform debates a few years back. And now testing doesn’t really gauge outcomes? Who knew?
* Meanwhile, Mayor Rahm Emanuel was asked yesterday about the standardized testing results…
The mayor was asked whether charters funded by CPS, but freed from regulations impacting traditional public schools shouldn’t have students performing “measurably better” on test scores.
He never answered the question.
“It’s an old debate to look at brand. The new debate is to look at high-quality education that achieves the goal of college readiness, college preparation and career readiness. That’s what I’m focused on at every level,” he said.
“[That’s] why I made sure our neighborhood schools at [the] high school [level] gave parents choice. They need to have the choice. We need to provide quality. Regardless of whether it’s military, selective enrollment, STEM, IB or charter, I want to make sure there’s quality throughout the system and parents will then have the choice of high-quality options.”
* And, while we’re at it, take a look at this story about how New York’s mayor got steamrolled by the big bucks charter school backers.