Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Does the data support charters? Does the data support test-centered schooling?

Sent to the Wall Street Journal, March 12, 2014

"Cuomo steps up for charters," (editorial, March 10) claims that New York charter school students outperform students in nearby traditional schools. But charters can often be very selective in who they admit, and can expell "problem" students. Were these factors included in the New York analysis? Despite their advantages, studies show that in general charter schools do not do as well as public schools.

"Shaking up the classroom," (March 11) notes that the Lindsay District has improved its passing rates on the California Academic Performance (CAP) Index from 2009 to 2013, but a comparison with the chart accompanying the article shows that state and county passing rates have improved at nearly exactly the same rate. This suggests that the improvement is the result of changes in criteria in calculating the CAP index, not the intensive test-preparation nature of schooling at Lindsay.

The Wall Street Journal is the leading source of financial information in the world, but the education staff needs work.

Stephen Krashen

Note: I measured the difference between the Lindsay scores and State/County scores 2009 and 2011 in the figure using a ruler.


Performance of charter schools: National Charter School Study. Can be downloaded at

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