The latest state report in Georgia found that student performance across both public schools and charter schools was stagnant, no doubt a reflection of the failure of test-based accountability. At some point, do you think policymakers will decide that all the time and money invested in testing has been wasted?
Georgia’s public schools took a step backward academically, an annual state report card released last week found, and many charter schools did not escape the lower marks.
An Atlanta Journal-Constitution review of the data found about three of five charter school grade clusters had lower scores on the state education department’s 2013-14 College and Career-Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) than they did the prior school year. Grade clusters are separated by the elementary, middle and high school levels.
The index shows several charter high schools are in trouble or need improvement. Three charter high schools were 50 percent or more below the statewide high school average for academic achievement. Academic achievement — how students fared on state end-of-course and standardized tests — accounts for up to 60 points, more than half the CCRPI score. In all, 15 of the 24 charter high schools reviewed by the AJC had academic achievement scores that were below the statewide high school average….
There was some encouraging news from the recent CCRPI findings for charter schools. Middle schools with data available were four points better than the state average. Elementary charter schools were on average five-tenths of a point better.
The data reviewed by the AJC showed charter high schools were on average three-tenths of a point below the statewide average.
Conversion charter schools, schools that began as traditional public schools, fared about as well as startup charter schools, the AJC’s review of available data found.
Is this why the Waltons and other billionaires poured money into Georgia’s state referendum on charters? Is this the education revolution they expected? A four-point gain in middle school; five-tenths of a point better in elementary schools; three-tenths of a point below the state average in high school?
Much ado about nothing, other than destroying the public’s belief that public schools belong to the public and providing opportunities for entrepreneurs to cash in.