Charter school expansion is not the answer

Here’s another example of how school “choice” is not the answer and should not be pursued by the Kansas legislature. “This data is very clear. First, Kansas is already a high achieving state, despite having more low income students than most states. Second, statistically having more students in charter schools makes no difference in achievement, and in some cases has a modest negative correlation. Third, Kansas already does better in achievement in almost every case than similar states, regardless of charter school enrollment. . . [H]igh charter school enrollment doesn’t help states with higher poverty do better. In other words, charter schools haven’t solved the 911 emergency of student achievement.
What does help boost achievement? We also provide the total revenue per pupil for each state. In every case, total revenue per pupil has a statistically stronger correlation with achievement than charter school enrollment.
Let’s be clear: we can’t be satisfied with Kansas outcomes. We need to be truthful about the number of Kansas students who are not achieving at satisfactory levels. But we also need to be truthful about the equal or greater achievement problems in high charter school states. Expanding charter schools has not proven to be the answer.”



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