This is part 3 of Stephen Dyer’s series about charter schools in Ohio. What he has learned from state data is that charter schools perform worse than public schools and take money from children in public schools in every district.
His series is titled “Ohio Charter Schools Just Don’t Work.” Something tells me you won’t read anything about this in the Wall Street Journal, and very likely not the New York Times either, although they are fast to shine a bright light on high-performing charters which are not representative of the charter industry.
Now that I’ve shown how state data indicate that Ohio’s charter schools simply aren’t up to snuff with Ohio’s school districts, costing children in those districts millions of dollars a year, and that the excuses posited by some in the charter school community just don’t hold water, I’m going to spend some time today looking at building-level data.
This is the data charter school proponents have argued for years should be the only comparable data when look at charter and public school performance.
Even though the state does not track which kids go from which public school buildings to which charters.
And the funding comes from the district, not the district building the kids leave.
And charters are considered districts in state law for funding and accountability purposes.
And charters are considered Local Education Agencies for federal funding and grant making purposes.
The primary reason I look at district-level data in my comparisons is pretty simple: when a kid leaves a district for a charter, the money that flows to the charter for that kid’s education comes out of every child’s state funding pot, not just the pot going to the most failing building in the most failing district. So it’s not punishing the most failing building in a district –it’s punishing every building and child in the district, even the best of both.
But for argument’s sake, let’s look at charter and public school building performance. What you’ll see is even in the light most favorable to charters, public schools outperform charters overall. Period.
Ohio’s charter schools perform worse overall than all local public school buildings, including those in the Big 8 urban districts (Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo and Youngstown) – the areas where charters were supposed to offer better alternatives. Charters register lower percentages of As and Bs while having higher percentages of Ds and Fs than local public schools.
Read the whole post to read the links and the rest of the story.
Why is the new ESEA setting aside new money for a sector that performs worse than public schools? Why are hedge fund managers and philanthropists funding more such schools? When will they pay attention to data?
When Jeb Bush invented school grades, he no doubt thought they would embarrass public schools and help charter schools and voucher schools, but it is not working. Just as charters are not working.