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Too much choice in Detroit?

Ana Rivera has sent her son Omar, a fourth grader, and his brother to several Charter Schools. Photo: Joshua Lott/New York Times

A Sea of Charter Schools in Detroit Leaves Students Adrift proclaims the New York Times in a front-page story.

Competition hasn’t improved Detroit’s dreadful public schools, reports Kate Zernike. There’s “lots of choice, with no good choice.”

Furthermore, “half the charters perform only as well, or worse than, Detroit’s Traditional Public schools.”

It’s a hatchet job, responds Jay Greene.

The story cites an analysis by Stanford’s CREDO that found Leona charter students do poorly, but ignored what CREDO said about Detroit charters as a whole. The city’s charter students are “significantly outpacing” similar students in traditional Detroit public schools, notes Greene. The story did not mention this fact.

And on the specific claim the article makes that “half the charters perform only as well, or worse than, Detroit’s traditional public schools” this is what the Stanford study has to say: “In reading, 47 percent of Charter Schools Perform significantly better than their traditional public school market, which is more positive than the 35% for Michigan charter schools as a whole. In math, 47 percent of Detroit charter schools perform significantly better than their local peers, the same proportion as for the charters as a whole statewide.”

The study found that only 1% of Detroit’s charters performs significantly worse than the traditional public schools in reading and only 7% in math.

Zernike bemoans the “chaos” caused by the “glut” of schools, writes Greene. Detroit parents who aren’t satisfied with their child’s school can pick a new charter, suburban, private or traditional school. Schools compete for students. How bad is that?

Michigan’s new education bill is a start at improving school quality, writes Daniel Quisenberry.

Robin Lake disagrees, arguing the legislation is way too weak.

This post first appeared on Joanne Jacobs — Thinking And Linking By Joanne Jacobs, please read the originial post: here

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Too much choice in Detroit?


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