“Explosive” results of a comprehensive, multi-year analysis of charter schools in New York City find students in charters more poor, more disadvantaged and from homes with lesser educational background, but closing the achievement gap by as much as 86 percent in math and 66 percent in reading.
So why is that news relegated to Page A27 of the New York Times, and only in a smattering of other papers elsewhere around the country?
This study by a noted Stanford University economist used an apples to apples comparison of real children – students who went to charters with those who did not get chosen by the lottery – rather than use intangible and relatively sketchy methodologies involving virtual students.
A less robust and, frankly, largely flawed study released in June by independent researchers at Stanford used that flawed methodology and made national headlines within a day of its press releases hitting the wires.
Their press roll out was criticized by charter advocates nationwide for misleading reporters. Indeed, the headlines then actually warned of charter students being behind in almost every state, without much credence for that or the general conclusions that now have every state legislator – along with union officials – saying charter success is overrated.
But the reality is: it’s not overrated. Charter schools do make an enormous difference in the life of a child and their family, particularly the longer they stay in a charter school.
The true gold-standard report issued Tuesday by Caroline Hoxby and her colleagues at the National Bureau of Economic Research tells the real story of a very big state that has the longevity and experience worthy of study and reporting.
It should not be buried in the depths of newspapers behind smaller, less