« Body counts | Main | What next? »

Study finds laptops smaller than desktops

The New York Times reports on a new study (warning: 15MB PDF file) that claims to show that charter schools are deficient in various ways, but that actually takes features and pretends that they're bugs. The primary complaint has to do with the qualifications of teachers:

The study found that 48 percent of teachers in the average charter school lack a teaching certificate, while 9 percent of teachers in the average public school lack one. The study also found that charter schools where more than half the enrollment is black rely more heavily on uncredentialed teachers.

In these schools 60 percent of the teachers are working with an emergency, provisional or probationary certificate, according to the study. The study also found that teachers in charter schools serving low-income and minority students are paid considerably less than their counterparts in public schools.

The study found that 55 percent of teachers in charter schools run by private companies are uncredentialed and not highly experienced; 45 percent of teachers in charters run by parents or educators are uncredentialed and inexperienced.

But what the study ignores is that bypassing the bureaucratic credentialling process is part of the point of charter schools. The study, and implicitly the Times, simply take for granted that "uncredentialed" = "bad," while charter schools do not assume that jumping through licensing hoops makes one a better teacher.

What's most interesting is that the focus of this study has nothing to do with the quality of education provided by charter schools. Instead, it measures teacher credentials, and eligibilty for federal subsidies, and principals' salaries, and minority enrollment. None of that addresses student performance, of course. Shouldn't it worry more about the results produced by charter schools, and less about whether the schools are spending a lot of money?

This is my favorite (completely irrelevant) argument, though:

Critics, which include the American Federation of Teachers, say that charter schools siphon money and resources from the public school system at a time when that system is underfinanced.
Critics, who are composed virtually entirely of teachers' unions, are being disingenuous. When you hear about money being "siphoned," it sounds as if money is being taken away from education and spent on something else, like highways or swimming pools or pharmaceuticals for the elderly. But of course that's not what's happening at all. The money is being spent on education; it's just not being funnelled through the public school bureaucracy first. The charter schools "siphon" students from the public school system, so that the public schools don't need as many resources.


TrackBack URL for this entry:


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 9, 2003 3:48 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Body counts.

The next post in this blog is What next?.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Powered by
Movable Type 3.31