I wrote a couple of days ago about an interesting back and forth that took place on Monday’s Kentucky Tonight show (which you can see by clicking the video link below).
During the show, Kentucky Senator Gerald Neal kept pushing Maryland as having an exemplary charter school program with a law Kentucky should emulate. Towards the end of the broadcast Kentucky’s Secretary for Education and Workforce Development, Hal Heiner, finally had enough and strongly challenged Neal, saying that Maryland’s charters perform near the bottom.
In the first part of this blog series, I explored Sec. Heiner’s claim, discovering that the National Assessment of Educational Progress indeed shows Maryland’s eighth grade charter students do perform near the bottom of the stack for states with available data.
Since posting that first blog, I decided to see how some of the major charter school organizations rank Maryland’s law compared to charter laws in other states.
To put it mildly, this was a real eye-opener.
First up was the ranking from the Center for Education Reform, which was released in 2015. Per the CER, as it is often called, Maryland has one of the very worst charter school laws in the nation, earning a grade of “F.” CER ranks 40 states as having better laws and only two states with somewhat worse “F” scores than Maryland.
Next up was a 2016 ranking in a report from the National Association of Charter School Authorizers. The rankings start on Page 6 and run to Page 10. Go to that last page to see Maryland ranked in 42nd place among the 43 states plus the District of Columbia for charter school laws.
It wasn’t hard to find a third strike for Maryland’s charter laws. This one comes from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and was released in January 2016. The rankings here are in Table 1, found on Pages 6 and 7. Among 42 states plus the District of Columbia system, Maryland ranks dead last in the 43rd slot.
So, it looks like Maryland is a real strikeout when it comes to the way numerous national charter school expert organizations rank the states’ charter school laws.
By the way, this information isn’t hard to find.
Clearly, Sec. Heiner knew about the Maryland situation, so how did Sen. Neal get his story so wrong?