Peter Greene here takes apart the claim by Mike Petrilli and Aaron Churchill of the Fordham Institute in the Wall Street Journal that closing schools is good for students. By good, they mean that the students will get higher test scores if their school is closed and they move to a different school.

Greene calls this “four kinds of wrong.”

To begin with:

“Before we even get into what they said or why it’s baloney, let’s open with the caveat that they themselves left out of the article. The study looks at the benefits of closing schools and was done in Ohio, where the Fordham operates charters that directly benefit from the closing schools. So this is, once again, a study touting the benefits of cigarette smoking brought to you by your friends at the Tobacco Institute.”

They claim that students gain an extra 49 days by switching schools. No serious researcher, he says, uses this metric. It is a meaningless reformer extrapolation, Greene says.

He adds, an increase from the 20th to the 22nd or 23rd percentile is a statistical blip.

Worst of all, they propose destroying social capital, which children need even more than a few points on a standardized test.