Dr. Helen F. Ladd is one of the most eminent economists of education, possibly the most eminent. She has written important studies that document the importance of poverty in the lives of children and its impact on their educational outcomes. She has written critically about No Child Left Behind. And she has written international studies of school choice with her husband Edward Fiske, a veteran journalist.

I sponsor an annual lecture series on education at Wellesley College, my alma mater, and was delighted when Sunny Ladd, as she is known, accepted my invitation to be the first post-pandemic lecturer. She prepared this paper, which has been published by the National Education Policy Center.

She maintains that charter schools disrupt sound educational policy making.

This an overview of her important paper:

As publicly funded schools of choice operated by private entities, charter schools differ from traditional public schools in that they have more operational autonomy, their teachers are not public employees, and they are operated by nonprofit or for-profit private entities under renewable contracts. The main sense in which they are public is that they are funded by taxpayer dollars. This policy memo describes how charter schools disrupt four core goals of education policy: establishing coherent systems of schools, attending to child poverty and disadvantage, limiting racial segregation and isolation, and ensuring that public funds are spent wisely. The author recommends that policies be designed both to limit the expansion of charters and to reduce the extent to which they disrupt the making of good education policy.

Open the link and read it in full.