Another KET shoot out on education issues

It’s no secret. State Rep. Carl Rollins, D-Midway, chair of the House Education Committee, has stated repeatedly in public forums that charter schools don’t work. He said essentially the same thing again tonight on KET’s Kentucky Tonight show. Asked about charter schools by show host Bill Goodman, Rollins replied:

“We know that most of the time, charter schools don’t work or at the very least don’t make much difference in children’s performance.”

He then went on to cite some, but only some, of the statistics from the CREDO study that I have abundantly discussed before.

As he has done in the past, Rollins said the CREDO study shows students in only 17 percent of charter schools outperform traditional public schools, while 37 percent of the charters do worse, and the other 46 percent perform no differently than the traditional public schools.

State Senator Gerald Neal, D-Louisville, then chimed in that CREDO’s is the best assessment around.

But, Host Bill Goodman was ready for all of this.

Goodman first read some background information that I submitted, which points out the CREDO report actually shows that once students have spent three years in charter schools, they do outperform. Thus, when completely considered, CREDO’s findings do not support the idea that charters don’t work. However, it does take time for charters to work with kids who come to charters with very bad prior educational experiences. This finding is also supported by other research from different groups, as well.

Goodman then continued my question, which asked if Rep. Rollins would reconsider his stand on blocking charter school legislation and asked if Rollins know about the rest of the CREDO findings.

Said Rep. Rollins about whether there were more positive findings in CREDO:

“There may be; I’m not sure.”

Rep. Rollins then pulled a typical politician maneuver, changing the subject to other legislation rather than dealing with the obvious fact that he has been relying on a report as support for his unfavorable position when the report really doesn’t support that position.

See for yourself what CREDO says about how students perform in charters over time. The discussion starts on page 32 in “Multiple Choice: Charter School Performance in 16 States.”

You can also see quick summaries of these findings on pages 6 and 45.

If you read this, you will be a lot surer than Rep. Rollins is about what is really in the CREDO report.

And, if you know Rep. Rollins, you might suggest to him that he needs to start reading the Bluegrass Policy Blog. A lot of knowledgeable folks, including those at KET, do.


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