Creative Destruction in Public Schooling

March 9, 2009

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

The Center for Education Reform released The Accountability Report – Charter Schools today. Lots of interesting information about the state of the charter schooling movement, including state by state information. For example, my state of Arizona has 510 charter schools operating, but since the charter law passed here in 1994, 96 Arizona charter schools have closed.

I suspect that some of those 96 schools never actually opened, but that is okay. Let’s face it, there are district schools we wish we had never had open as well, based on their long track records of abysmal test scores.

One out of five new school closing may not be the cold howling wind of the market for restaurants, but it is something. Creative destruction and competition for students provides focus, which helps to explain why 9 out of the top 10 public high schools, as ranked by their reading scores, in the greater Phoenix area are charter schools. Check it out for yourself here.

Plenty of interesting information in the report, well worth a look.

UPDATE: Kara Hornung Kerwin of CER, the first and only woman to ever have a bachlorette party thrown on her behalf by a group of education policy geeks in Jackson Hole Wyoming, wrote me to say that in fact all 96 of those schools opened and closed. The school market is a bit more savage than I thought.

Notice the titles here and with the recent Fordham Report on standardized testing. The Accountability Report-Charter Schools vs. The Accountability Illusion.

Things that make you go hmmmmm…..

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