Exactly, sort of

Here’s a quote attributed to Governor Baker’s testimony during the hearings to lift the cap on Massachusetts charter schools:

We should celebrate their success and build on it

I could not agree more. Surely good practice and innovation needs to be celebrated and built upon. However, I wonder who the Governor is referring to with the word their in his statement. Surely he can’t mean only Charter Schools are experiencing success that can be built upon. I refer local readers to the Murkland School in Lowell, whose success in turning around from Level 4 to Level 1 has been nationally recognized.

IMG_0200In this YouTube clip, the governor indicates that among most successful (by what measure?) schools in the Commonwealth are Charter Schools. Where is the data for this? Does this statement mean all Charter Schools are successful simply because they are not traditional public schools? And what measure is being used to assess success? Because if the single measure for success is a high-stakes test such as the current MCAS test (or the PARCC in the future), that opens up another challenge. Is a single-shot, high-stakes standardized test the only way to measure educational success?

According to the Governor and news reports there are in excess of 37,000 students across the Commonwealth on waiting lists to enter Charter Schools.  Again, where is the data for this? And why are news outlets not challenging the Governor for this data?

Before a cap on the number of Charter Schools is lifted, answers need to be provided. Decisions must be based on real facts, not anecdotes or fuzzy thinking.

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One thought on “Exactly, sort of

  1. “Decisions must be based on real facts, not anecdotes or fuzzy thinking.” I agree, but good luck with that. Most statements from the charter school crowd are highly motivated reasoning and data “analysis.” It’s sad, really, since an experiment is being conducted before our eyes with very little in the way of thorough, systematic data gathering.

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