The Bush administration's education program received a devastating setback this week when long-awaited federal data showed that children in charter schools were performing worse on math and reading tests than their counterparts in regular public schools. Among other things, the data casts doubt on a central provision of the No Child Left Behind Act that encourages the states to hand over failing schools to commercial companies and nonprofit community groups that want to run them as charter schools.Guess it wasn't buried deep enough - it's not November is it?
The new data that came to public attention this week was unearthed from a mound of federal reports, where it seemed to have been buried. While government officials denied that they were trying to hide the report, there's no denying that it casts a cloud on the gospel of privatization pushed by the Bush administration.
The report shows that there is nothing magical about the charter system when it comes to rebuilding failing schools. Instead of encouraging the states to set up thousands of unsupervised charter schools, the education secretary, Rod Paige, and his associates should concentrate on the No Child Left Behind provisions that require the states to place a qualified teacher in every classroom and make sure that all of the country's children are being held to the same high standards. That means more oversight and more scrutiny by the states, not less.[Nitpicker emphasis]
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
Childs is Left Behind in Charters