Bill De Blasio to NYC Charter Schools: Drop Dead
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  • johngbarker

    Charters’ greatest freedom may be the ability to select students, legally or covertly, according to ability and character. I look forward to rigorous analysis to test this proposition, even though I doubt it will happen. I think the education reform movement is caught up in millennial expectations that may not possible to achieve.

    • Enemy Leopard

      WRM and the staff here have dealt with this question of selection bias in the past. My impression is that, with the exception of special ed students, charter schools do not select a crop of students with more academic potential, a priori, than traditional public schools. You can search for “charter schools” on this site for more of their discussion, but some places to start include the following:

      http://www.the-american-interest.com/blog/2013/06/25/poor-and-minority-communities-gain-big-from-charter-schools/
      http://www.the-american-interest.com/blog/2013/10/25/good-news-from-boston-charter-school-study/
      http://www.the-american-interest.com/blog/2013/10/02/charter-schools-give-special-ed-students-a-fair-shake/

      None of those links hits exactly upon the point, although I feel like there has been more discussion on this that I haven’t been able to find in a few minutes of cursory searching. As for special ed students in particular, it isn’t that charter schools are discriminating against those that apply, but instead that proportionally fewer apply in the first place. In any case, teaching special ed requires special training and saintly amounts of patience, and I don’t think the question of the overall effectiveness of charters hinges on how many special ed students they handle.

      Perhaps there may be some subtle selection bias that hasn’t yet revealed itself in the data. Maybe those students whose parents enter them into charter school lotteries are more likely to be involved with their children’s education or will work harder to ensure that they succeed, even with other socioeconomic metrics held constant. It’s entirely plausible. If so, this sounds like the beginning of a virtuous circle to me, one that gives the student a better chance of breaking out of the cycle of poverty than he or she would otherwise have. I don’t have a problem with that.

  • TommyTwo

    “Now that De Blasio is safely elected…”

    Oh me oh my, who possibly could have foreseen this turn of events? How distressing!

    Qui tacet consentire videtur ubi loqui debuit ac potuit.

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