Friday, April 17, 2009

War On Charter Schools

My daughter attends a charter school. For her, it has worked out great. She struggles with reading and math and this particular charter school has some special education specialists that help her every day with reading and math. She would not have received this help in the non-chapter public school -- too many children and not enough teachers.

A year or so ago, in Utah, we had a battle over school vouchers. The UEA and NEA went all out to defeat this option for parents that felt the traditional public schools were not meeting the needs of their children. They could attend private schools, but not with any tax fund help.

People I knew that were anti-vouchers were also anti-charter. For some reason, they believed that charter schools were private, and that the government was taking money from the traditional public schools and giving it to these charter schools. Ignorance is one of our greatest societal problems.

I was reading today in the WSJ an interesting article by Jay Green: The Union War on Charter Schools. The education unions, feeling they have won the war against vouchers have set their sights on charter schools.

Their efforts in some states are seeing funds for public charter schools getting cut, but no cuts or increases in traditional public schools.
The highest quality studies have consistently shown that students learn more in charter schools.

The most telling study is by Harvard economist Tom Kane about charter schools in Boston. It found that students accepted by lottery at independently operated charter schools significantly outperformed students who lost the lottery and returned to district schools. But students accepted by lottery at charters run by the school district with unionized teachers experienced no benefit.
The sad fact is that those involved in the profession of educating our youth are more concerned with job protection than with the well-being of the children. These are common liberal policies -- doing the same failed things over and over again and expecting a different outcome.

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