Thursday, September 01, 2005

Mis-Reporting on Charter Schools

An editorial appeared in the local paper lauding the success of a KIPP charter school. And the number are gaudy, no doubt. Huge percentages of proficient kids, especially math, huge API, etc. Good for them.

Two huge weaknesses of the editorial, which is layed-out like a feature news, contains a hard lede, and is all over misleading in that vein:

1) They have 73 kids, and there model does not allow additional growth within grade levels. So, 73.

2) The newspaper ran their numbers alongside that of entire Districts. Again, 73 kids. Tightly controlled environments and corporate money. It is disingenuous to compare results in that way, when no District could support that style of education for all students. [EDIT: something they freely admit] Seventy-three kids, many of whom, if the downward trend in the community schools wherein those students would otherwise have attended are to be believed, probably would have succeeded anywhere.

The kind of typically sloppy reporting charter schools benefit from.

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