web analytics
The Standard

Charter schools shoot themselves in both feet

Written By: - Date published: 2:03 pm, October 23rd, 2012 - 16 comments
Categories: education, making shit up, schools - Tags: ,

I notice that DPF is pushing data supposed to show the success of charter schools in New York (and of course pushing his anti-teacher agenda at the same time). The source is the WSJ:

New York City recently released official progress reports for the city’s 1,230 schools, including measures of how each school compares with other schools that have similar students. The reports provide yet more proof that charter schools—which outperformed traditional public schools by a wide margin—are working. Eight of the top 11 elementary and middle schools by student performance are charters, and four of those charters are in Harlem.

There many problems with this supposed success. Here’s one:

Something very similar happened in New York state, where unrevealed relaxations in state testing standards led to a multi-year belief in the efficacy of reforms there. When results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests revealed the gains were illusory, New York admitted the test changes, thereby wiping out half a decade of supposed achievement gains on math and language tests.

Who knows how much of this cooking the books goes on – here’s another example:

Gov. Tom Corbett’s education chief changed the PSSA testing rules in a way that makes it easier for charter schools to meet federal benchmarks than traditional public schools.

Education Secretary Ron Tomalis’ change, made without federal approval, might have skewed the results of the 2011-12 PSSA scores to make it appear charter schools were outperforming traditional public schools, according to a Morning Call review of publicly available test score data.

The proponents of charter schools shoot themselves in the foot with this kind of nonsense, because it means that no evidence purporting to show the success of charter schools can be trusted at face value. (The New Zealand version of charter schools are – surprise! – going to be able to opt out of national standards and NCEA – expect more dodgy data of self-reported success to start emanating from this country in due course.) And that’s before all the other ways of manipulating the results, like selective admissions, expelling “unsuccessful” students (a tactic of the New York schools the WSJ quotes), and so on.

Charter schools do worse more often than the do better, are bad for education in general. Our public education system is already very successful and very cost effective. If we want even better results, the solution is to strengthen public education, not to throw ourselves under the ideological bandwagon of charter schools.

16 comments on “Charter schools shoot themselves in both feet”

  1. Gosman 1

    The key point in the article that Kiwiblog discusses was the comparision between districts over time. In that respect it should not really matter if testing standards have been relaxed because supposedly they will have been relaxed for all schools and therefore do not explain the changes in the relative measurements between school districts.

    The great bastion of Social Democracy – Sweden – has gone big on Charter Schools with little evidence that they are failing students or that the leftist parties in Sweden are itching to get rid of them. I wonder why that is.

    • McFlock 1.1

      it should not really matter if testing standards have been relaxed because supposedly they will have been relaxed for all schools

      cf:

      Gov. Tom Corbett’s education chief changed the PSSA testing rules in a way that makes it easier for charter schools to meet federal benchmarks than traditional public schools.

      my boldface both quotes.
      moron.

      • Gosman 1.1.1

        Ummmmm…, if you had bothered to read that article you should have noticed it was about Pennsylvania not New York. Considering the article Kiwiblog is discussing is about the comparative performance of various schools in in another state entirely it is irrelevant unless the argument is about comparing Charter School against Public Schools in PENNSYLVANIA.

        • McFlock 1.1.1.1

          Actually – good call. Through shear weight of numbers you have managed to not spout bullshit.
              
          Of course, it calls into question your basic assumption that general rule relaxation doesn’t favour some schools over others, but nevertheless, good call. I read too quickly between taskings.
           

        • Dr Terry 1.1.1.2

          Not only New York as such, but in Harlem specifically. Anyone who has resided in New York, as I have, will understand the implications of this.

          Are you conceding that comparisons in Pennsylvania are not favourable? (I cannot imagine Gosman making too many concessions, actually. I wonder why?)

    • Dv 1.2

      >>testing standards have been relaxed because supposedly they will have been relaxed for all schools

      Interesting assumption

      Sweden
      >>with little evidence that they are failing students

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/swedens-free-schools-model-has-limited-impact-2008070.html

      The report highlights evidence that shows a “moderately positive” impact of free schools on academic performance when pupils are 15 and 16, but adds: “The biggest beneficiaries are children from highly educated families; the impact on low educated families and immigrants is close to zero.”V

      The report also cites evidence that says: “The researchers also find that the advantages that children educated in areas with free schools have by age 16 do not translate into greater educational success in later life.”

      • Gosman 1.2.1

        All that suggests is that they aren’t as successful in Sweden as some would have hoped according to a particular meassure. It doesn’t support the view they are failing students.

        • Dv 1.2.1.1

          Didn’t say they were, BUT how are they going to improve the 10% tail, as they are suppose to as the impact on low educated families and immigrants is close to zero.

    • Georgecom 1.3

      sad thing Gosman is that the New York comments suggest that standardised testing and charter schools didn’t lead to a great leap in achievement levels. Supposed improvments were the result of ‘relaxation of standards’. The claims that standardised testing and charter schools improve achievements have been cast into doubt, yet again, by this report. On that basis, why bother investing tens of millions of dollars into programmes that are not proven to deliver what is claimed. The govt is apparently short of money. Why waste it on underachieving programmes.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.3.1

        This government is only short of money to help society be better. They’ve got plenty to give to their rich mates.

    • KJT 1.4

      Sweden has had a bit of a swing towards the Neo-liberal paradigm lately. And as expected are having the inevitable decline in social outcomes.
      Though as they started at a high level of social wages they have a longer way to fall than we did.

      • Colonial Viper 1.4.1

        I saw a recent speech by the Swedish finance minister on Youtube. Yeah a barely disguised neoliberal hack.

    • lprent 1.5

      The great bastion of Social Democracy – Sweden – has gone big on Charter Schools with little evidence that they are failing students or that the leftist parties in Sweden are itching to get rid of them. I wonder why that is.

      First off Sweden isn’t exactly a homogenous country nor is it uniformly liberal. I’d suggest you have a look at some of the local juristrictions which have quite a lot of autonomy. Especially their history since the war for “hooligans” and unwed mothers. Makes some of our worst excesses look tame.

      That is why they have a rather classic authoritarian second term government at present.

      I believe it was because their charter schools were highly regulated even beyond the state school regulations about what could or could not be done. That was all tha would pass the legislature. That reduced the amount of room there was to cut corners. Why are you trying compare apples with oranges? The intent here is to have extremely light regulation, whichis why an ACToid has been put in charge of the pilot programme.

      Charter schools, if implemented here, should be regulated up at least as far as the private schools in NZ that take state money and for exactly the same reasons. Using state money to finance nutters and/or low standards of basic education is unacceptable.

      As Dv pointed out the results were not particularly useful in target groups in Sweden that were the ostensible reason for creating the schools. They however were of use for getting state money to set up enclave schools for the already affluent. That kind of closed community is not acceptable either – it appears to be just a good way of manufacturing arrogant idiots. Bad enough seeing the silly buggers coming out of Kings..

  2. ianmac 2

    There is a long tail. We will have Charter Schools. Therefore the tail will be eliminated.
    Simple as 1+1=2. If John Banks can see it why can’t you? Hmmm?.
    Actually testing is the gremlin both as in NS and as in how to measure success. The Question is the Answer.
    Would those running our Charter schools cheat in order to get the funding and pump up their success? Doubt it. 😈
    Come to think of it, had National Standards not been shunted in front of Charter Schools, there might have been a good case for designing alternative schools to cater for specialised learning unfettered by normals and testing. Now the suspicion and doubt that has been thrust by Parata and the Ministry has made cooperation nil.

  3. captain hook 3

    I dont live in Pennsylvania.
    I live in New Zealand and I know that the promoters of charter schools in New Zealand are barely literate and posessed of anti everything ideas except their own weird beliefs.
    This is a case of not only loonies running the asylum but actually being given state money to build half assed versions for themselves.
    Is this really the democratic ideal?

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Bullying contributes to Auckland being stripped of ICU training
    Complaints of bullying and harassment by supervisors which have contributed to Auckland’s critical care department losing its training accreditation are further evidence of the appalling culture at executive level, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “The department had its accreditation… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Broadband failure sucks up more cash
    The Commerce Committee has blocked an inquiry into the $300 million rural broadband initiative (RBI) despite mounting evidence it’s a massive policy failure and waste of money, says Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran. “The Government is about to spend an… ...
    2 days ago
  • TISA – Another secret trade deal you may never have heard of
      This post first appeared on The Daily Blog You’ve probably heard of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) by now and the widespread concerns around it but what about the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) also being currently negotiated by… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 days ago
  • Health chickens coming home to roost as Dunedin loses right to train doctor...
    News today that Dunedin Hospital has lost orthopaedic training accreditation is a major blow and proves the Government’s prevarication is having devastating consequences, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Losing orthopaedic advanced training is serious. There is a knock on… ...
    3 days ago
  • $74,000 quarterly rise shows crisis out of control
    New figures out today showing Auckland house prices have spiked by a massive $74,000 in the past quarter is further evidence the city’s housing crisis has spiralled out of control, Labour’s “In spite of constant announcements and photo opportunities from… ...
    3 days ago
  • Democracy for Nauru now
    Murray McCully must send the strongest possible message to the Nauruan Government that New Zealand does not condone its actions given the disturbing developments there, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “Right now we are seeing Nauru stripped of… ...
    3 days ago
  • Recovery needs more than a rebrand
    Today’s announcement of new governance arrangements for Canterbury seems to be nothing more than a fresh coat of paint on the same old approach, says Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “The Canterbury Recovery has been too slow, with… ...
    3 days ago
  • Copper decision a victory for status quo, not Kiwi households
    New Zealanders hoping for cheaper copper broadband will be disappointed by the Commerce Commission’s latest decision in the long running saga to determine the price of copper, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “In an apparent attempt to appease everyone,… ...
    3 days ago
  • It’s time for hard decisions in the Bay
     The Ruataniwha dam project is turning into a huge white elephant as the economics fail to stack up, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri.  “Ruataniwha simply doesn’t make economic sense when you look at other major irrigation schemes around the… ...
    3 days ago
  • More testing won’t lift student achievement
    Hekia Parata’s latest plan to subject school students to even more testing and assessment won’t do anything to lift the educational achievement of the kids who are struggling, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “New Zealand school students are already… ...
    3 days ago
  • Bad week for NZ economy gets worse
    The bad news for the New Zealand economy got worse this morning with the 8th successive drop in dairy prices at this morning’s global dairy auction, again exposing the absence of any Plan B from the National Government, Labour’s Finance… ...
    3 days ago
  • System failing to protect women and children from family violence
    Last week we called for mandatory child safety investigations in domestic violence cases. This came after the coronial inquiry into the deaths of Bradley and Ellen Livingstone and the verdict in the trial of the west Auckland boys charged with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Backers banking on social bonds cash?
    The Government is refusing to say what the $29 million it has set aside for its controversial social bonds programme is for, raising suspicions it is an upfront payment to the project backers, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A… ...
    4 days ago
  • Plastic Free July
    Today is the start of Plastic Free July. Since its inception in Perth, Western Australia four years ago, more and more people and organisations from around the world have joined the call to refuse single use plastic products. Nearly all… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    4 days ago
  • State house sell off Bill gives extraordinary powers
    The Government is about to give Ministers extraordinary powers to take direct personal control of selling state houses, exempting Ministers from normal legal requirements and leaving the sale process wide open for corruption, Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The… ...
    4 days ago
  • Cash for charter schools, mould for state schools
    At a time when state schools are struggling in old, cold, mouldy buildings and can barely make ends meet, the National Government is shovelling cash at charter schools which aren’t even spending the funding on kids’ education, Labour’s Education spokesperson… ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand needs a wise response to climate change
    Today in Parliament I got to hear from a group of New Zealanders who are concerned for the future of our country. Called Wise Response, the group is a broad coalition of academics, engineers, lawyers, artists, sportspeople and others who… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    4 days ago
  • No alternative as waste scheme trashed
    Nick Smith must explain how he is going to prevent contamination of New Zealand’s ground and water with liquid and hazardous waste after scrapping the only monitoring scheme and offering no replacement, says Labour’s Environment Spokesperson Megan Woods. “From today,… ...
    4 days ago
  • Flawed system rates death traps as safe
    ACC Minister Nikki Kaye needs to come clean about what really lies behind the reclassification of 18 vehicles in her new motor vehicle registration system introduced today, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. "New Zealanders deserve the truth about the… ...
    4 days ago
  • Tiwai Smelter and 800 workers left in limbo
     Workers at Tiwai smelter and the people of Southland have once again been left in limbo over their future in the ongoing debacle over whether the plant stays open, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little.  “It’s not good enough that after two years of… ...
    4 days ago
  • New twist in state house sell-off saga
    The Government has opened the door to buyers of state houses simply being landlords and not required to provide social services, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The Prime Minister said at his post-Cabinet press conference buyers would not “have… ...
    4 days ago
  • Government fees will hit charities hard
    National’s decision to ignore the concerns of charities will see the voluntary sector face hundreds of thousands of dollars in new costs if the Policing (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill passes, says Labour's Community and Voluntary Sector spokesperson Poto Williams. “National’s… ...
    5 days ago
  • Four out of ten for Simon’s Bridges
    The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “After one by-election poll showed they… ...
    5 days ago
  • Falling consents adding to Auckland housing woes
    Falling numbers of building consents being issued in Auckland will add to the city’s housing shortfall and fuel skyrocketing house prices, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford “The Productivity Commission found there was a shortfall of around 32,000 houses by the… ...
    5 days ago
  • So Mr English, do you have a plan?
    DIpping confidence about jobs, wages and shrinking exports are highlighting the lack of a plan from the government to diversify the economy and build sustainable growth, Grant Robertson  Labour’s Finance Spokesperson said. " Data released over the last week… ...
    5 days ago
  • Serious risks to tenants and assets in sell-off
    Overseas evidence shows there are serious risks around the Government's plan to sell off state houses to social housing providers, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “In the Netherlands – where community housing providers supply the majority of social housing –… ...
    5 days ago
  • Land of milk and money
    Kiwi families are paying over the top prices for their milk and someone is creaming off big profits, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “In 2011 the Government told us high New Zealand milk prices were a natural result… ...
    7 days ago
  • MoBIE largesse doesn’t stop with TVs and hair-straighteners
    The number of MoBIE staff earning more than $150,000 has risen 23 per cent in just a year, Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark says. Documents obtained from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show there are now nearly… ...
    7 days ago
  • English wants to flog state houses to Aussies
    Bill English’s admission that he would sell hundreds of New Zealand’s state houses to the Australians is the latest lurch in the Government’s stumbling, half-baked housing policy, Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Bill English should face reality and admit his… ...
    1 week ago
  • Exports continue to fall as Government fails to diversify
    The Government quickly needs a plan to diversify our economy after new figures show that exports are continuing to fall due to the collapse in dairy exports, Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Dairy exports fell 28 per cent compared… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government inaction leads to blurring of roles
    The Treasury wouldn’t have had to warn the Reserve Bank to stick to its core functions if the Government had taken prompt and substantial measures to rein in skyrocketing Auckland house prices, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The problems… ...
    1 week ago
  • Courthouse closures hitting regions
    The Government’s decision to shut down up to eight regional courthouses, some supposedly only temporarily for seismic reasons, looks unlikely to be reversed, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“The move has hit these regions hard, but appears to be a… ...
    1 week ago
  • A Victory for Te Tiriti o Waitangi
    This week my partner, who has a number of professions, was doing an archaeological assessment for a District Council. He showed me the new rules around archaeologists which require them to demonstrate “sufficient skill and competency in relation to Māori… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Tough bar set for Ruataniwha dam
     Today’s final decision by the Tukituki Catchment Board of Inquiry is good news for the river and the environment, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. “Setting a strict level of dissolved nitrogen in the catchment’s waters will ensure that the… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister for Women and National missing the mark – part two
    The Minister for Women was in front of the select committee yesterday answering questions about her plans for women. Some useful context is that we used to have a Pay and Employment Equity Unit within the then Department of Labour… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Lavish penthouse spend confirms culture of extravagance
    At the same time thousands of New Zealanders are being locked out of the property market, the Government is spending up on a lavish New York penthouse for its diplomats, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. News that taxpayers… ...
    1 week ago
  • Māori Television exodus cause for concern
    The shock departure of yet another leading journalist from the Native Affairs team raises further concern the Board and Chief Executive are dissatisfied with the team’s editorial content, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “Annabelle Lee is an experienced… ...
    1 week ago
  • Million-plus car owners to pay too much ACC
    More than a million car owners will pay higher ACC motor vehicle registration than necessary from July, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “During a select committee hearing this morning it was revealed that car owners would have been charged… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill will restore democracy to local councils
    A new Labour Member’s Bill will restore democracy to local authorities and stop amalgamations being forced on councils. Napier MP Stuart Nash’s Local Government Act 2002 (Greater Local Democracy) Bill will be debated by Parliament after being pulled from the… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister for Women again misses the mark – part one
    Yesterday I asked the Minister for Women about the government’s poor performance on it’s own target of appointing women to 45% of state board positions. I challenged why she’d put out a media release celebrating progress this year when the… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Banks enter Dragon’s Den in pitch for Government’s mental health experi...
    Overseas banks and their preferred providers were asked to pitch their ideas for bankrolling the Government’s social bonds scheme to a Dragon’s Den-style panel, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. Dragon’s Den was a reality television series where prospective ‘entrepreneurs’… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Mode bullying won’t stop people accessing content
    It’s disappointing that strong-arm tactics from powerful media companies have meant Global Mode will not get its day in court. Today a settlement was reached terminating the Global Mode service, developed in New Zealand by ByPass Network Services and used… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • More questions – why was the Former National Party President involved wit...
    Today in Parliament Murray  McCully said the reason Michelle Boag was involved in 2011 in the Saudi farm scandal was in her capacity as a member of the New Zealand Middle East Business Council. The problem with that answer is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain Maori TV interference
    Te Ururoa Flavell must explain why he told Maori TV staff all complaints about the CEO must come to him – months before he became the Minister responsible for the broadcaster, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Sources have told… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver takes a hammering after the end of kick-start
    National seems hell bent on destroying New Zealand’s saving culture given today’s news that there has been a drop in new enrolments for KiwiSaver, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “New enrolments for the ANZ Investments KiwiSaver scheme have plunged… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Straight answers needed on CYF role
    The Government needs to explain the role that Child, Youth and Family plays in cases where there is evidence that family violence was flagged as a concern, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Arden says. “The fact that CYF is refusing to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister confuses his political interests with NZ’s interest
    The Prime Minister’s statement in Parliament yesterday that a Minister who paid a facilitation payment to unlock a free trade agreement would retain his confidence is an abhorrent development in the Saudi sheep scandal, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • #raisethequota
    Last Saturday was World Refugee Day. I was privileged to spend most of my day with the amazing refugee communities in Auckland. Their stories have been inspiring and reflect the ‘can-do’ Kiwi spirit, even though they come from all different… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Dairy conversions causing more pollution than ever, report shows
    The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) released two reports on freshwater quality and management last Friday. The water quality report shows that dairy conversions are hurting water quality and says that despite great efforts with fencing and planting, large… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Employers want urgent action on health and safety
    Moves by National to water down health and safety reforms have been slammed by employers – the very group the Government claims is pushing for change, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Relations Iain Lees-Galloway. “The Employers and Manufacturers’ Association has… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere