It looks like the first show in KET’s new series, Education Matters, which aired Tuesday on KET 1, is already on line.
Find the webcast here.
As I mentioned in #3 in this Charter School Myths series, a 2009 report called “Informing the Debate, Comparing Boston’s Charter, Pilot and Traditional Schools” found charters notably outperformed the regular school system that city.
This graph from the report may help make that clearer. It is based on a very strong investigational method where performance of students who won lotteries to enter charter schools are compared to results for students who also entered those lotteries but didn’t win a charter school slot. This is basically a random-sample approach, which is the gold standard for similar research efforts.
The report says this graph plots the scores of lottery winners [shown by the green line for English Language Arts (ELA) and by the gray line (math)] to lottery losers scores (represented by the constant zero horizontal black colored axis line) over grades in middle and high school charter schools. The report concludes, “The relatively steep upward slopes of the lines suggest that Charter School impacts increase over the course of school.”
In other words, charter middle schools in Boston provided stronger educations for students, and the amount of that extra education increased as students remained in the charter schools for longer periods of time.
The report indicates that relative rise for math performance in charter schools equates to moving from the 50th to the 69th percentile of student performance, or erasing about half of the white to black achievement gap. The report terms this an “extraordinarily large” increase.
Does this look like evidence of “a failed reform” to you?
It doesn’t look like a failure to folks in the know in Massachusetts, either.
If you missed Monday’s remarkable KET Kentucky Tonight show on charter schools, you can now watch it on line here.
The Bluegrass Institute’s Jim Waters and Pastor Jerry Stephenson, chairman of the Kentucky Education Restoration Alliance, made the case for bringing charter schools to the commonwealth.
Note that you need the flash media player in your computer to view this. You probably will be directed to get that viewer when you try to open the link if you don’t already have it.
View this show for yourself and let us hear your feedback.
By the way, I don’t recall KET television ever getting a show online so quickly. Good job, KET!
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Click here to read the entire news release.
– No myth – Actual Quote
“What is it about Charter Schools that allows them to achieve such strong results, and how can their effective practices be more widely disseminated?”
Mitchell D. Chester, Massachusetts Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education in his cover letter for a 2009 report on charter school performance. Chester was specifically commenting on this remarkable and recent report’s findings that charter schools in Boston notably outperformed the regular school system there.
By the way, this report used two separate analysis approaches and found generally similar results for charter schools from both.
The report was created by a partnership between The Boston Foundation and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, which makes it less likely to be biased.
– Myth (in fact, outrageous myth) we heard during the January 18, 2009 Kentucky Tonight show
“It’s a failed reform.”
Sheldon Berman, Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent
Note: During the Kentucky Tonight telecast, Dr. Berman cited his experience with charter schools in Massachusetts as a major part of the basis of his easy-to-refute claim.
As you can see, the Massachusetts Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education would likely be very surprised to hear anyone proclaim that charter schools are a failure based on what is really happening in his state’s schools.
Dr. Berman clearly hasn’t kept up with what is happening in Massachusetts, or with reports elsewhere. We’ll discuss that in another blog.
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