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Revisiting The CREDO Charter School Analysis

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Thank you for revisiting this. The CREDO is important for all the reasons you metioned above, but so oft misinterpretted by humans. But it is endemic of a "culture of data-driven decision-making" that relies WAY too much on quantitative data rather than including real individuals voices. Shanker is turning in his grave regarding how corporate driven education has become. He would take one look at this and say - on this National Teachers Day - "So what do the teachers and students think about their schools?" Thanks for the analysis. Adam P Heenan @ClassroomSooth

The CREDO National Assessment is much more sophisticated than the “charter schools don’t work” idea promoted elsewhere (principally by Diane Ravitch). It points out that charters work in some cases and not others and those cases where they have a positive impact are significant. E.g., children in poverty for one, elementary schools for another. More importantly, that is only one report of many that have been published on the impact of charter schools. Another that really needs to be considered is Hoxby’s report on NYC public schools at http://www.nber.org/~schools/charterschoolseval/. (NY state was not considered in the CREDO report Ravitch referred to). That report was immensely more sophisticated and detailed in its statistical analysis and concluded that charter schools in NYC had a significant net positive impact, particularly for those most at risk. Ravitch had to have known about that report since she mentions Hoxby early on in her book so it is a sin of omission that she didn’t refer to it. CREDO’s investigation of the impact of charter schools did not end with their National Assessment. They also did one on Indiana released March 9, 2011. The press release states: “….overall, charter school performance in Indiana and Indianapolis outpaced the traditional public schools in learning gains. Looking at the distribution of school performance, 98% of the charter schools had similar or superior academic growth than the traditional public schools in reading and 100% of charter schools had similar or superior academic growth in math compared to traditional public schools.” “…Black students in charter schools reported significantly better learning gains than Black students in traditional public schools. In fact, Black students in charter schools in Indiana grow at similar rates to the average white student in a traditional public school in math. Charter school students in poverty also reported significantly better learning gains than their peers at traditional public schools in math as did charter school students that were retained a grade.” See: http://credo.stanford.edu/reports/INPressReleaseMarch92011.pdf And let us not forget CREDO’s study of NYC charter schools for which the press release of January 5, 2010 is subtitled: “CREDO Report Finds that New York City Charter Schools Do Significantly Better with Blacks, Hispanics and Students Who Had Not Previously Done Well” Above from: http://credo.stanford.edu/reports/CREDO%20NYC%20report%20Press%20Release%20–%20FINAL.pdf (use the above link – the link on the CREDO home page is out of date). The full CREDO report on NYC is at: http://credo.stanford.edu/reports/NYC%202009%20_CREDO.pdf (again, the link on the CREDO home page is out of date).

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