Parent Triggers and Charters

I am visiting in Pennsylvania, and this commentary on the need for a parent trigger law was in today’s paper. The Commonwealth Foundation supports charter schools, and the writer points to evidence that charters are outperforming public schools by demonstrating that more charters have made Adequate Yearly Progress. It’s telling that the organization does not compare scores on either the PSSA (Pennsylvania’s state test) or NAEP (the national test of progress).  That data is only used to show that scores for public schools are declining.  I can’t help but wonder why?  Could it be that, when it comes to actual scores, the charters aren’t doing any better and maybe worse than the traditional schools?

In fact, that’s what data is really showing about charters. What little reliable data can be found shows what much educational research does: results vary across schools, states, and students. Some charters do better; some charters do worse. There is certainly no research to support increasing the number of charters or that parent trigger laws lead to greater student achievement.


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