Does School Choice ‘Work’? No.

An excellent article by Rick Hess on whether school choice (that is publicly-supported vouchers and charter schools) is a panacea or not.

Not surprisingly to me, the answer is NO.

Here is the link:

Published in: on October 9, 2010 at 1:25 pm  Comments (4)  

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  1. I don’t think “No” is quite Rick’s conclusion, although I do think he’s been pretty disillusioned over its promise, but not as muh as has Diane Ravitch


  2. Rick really, really, really wanted to be able to say that school choice ‘works’ — so he does, sort of. Of course the metric to measure ‘works’ is parental satisfaction and some measure of ‘drop-out’ improvement, although he doesn’t provide the numbers to allow readers to interpret how big the improvement in retention to graduation actually is. That he 1) works for the AEI is one indicator that he is a member of the pro-school choice cheerleading squad and 2) his desire to report that while it wasn’t statistically significant at the 95% confidence level, it did hit the *94*% level.

    Much of the research is methodologically suspect. But he did get a result that the right-wing can use to champion school choice, even while producing a report that essentially says, school choice doesn’t improve teaching.


  3. How do we make all charter schools attractive for families or how do families make charter school attractive? Simply saying “charter school” does not mean a charter school is better. As Gail Collins with the NY Times reports…only about a fifth of American charter schools “produce amazing results.” In fact, a study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes found that only 17 percent did a better job than the comparable local public school, while more than a third did “significantly worse.”


    • As far as I can tell, the few charter schools that do better are the ones with lots of extra foundation money that have way longer school years and school days and school weeks and are selective, in that parents have to buy into it and actively participate. Plus, if students act up repeatedly, they are put out. Therefore, discipline is not a problem. Boy, if the regular public schools had those advantages, they would do well also. Instead, when there are discipline problems, most inner-city public schools are prevented from doing anything at all.


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