Ed Sector’s K-12 Incoherence Week

May 15, 2009

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

I’ve been out and about this week, but our pals over at Education Sector have kept me entertained. On Carey’s too-cool for-school dissing of vouchers, I can’t help but wonder: what would stop an advocate of home-schooling from dismissing Kevin’s beloved charter schools on a broadly similar basis? After all, home-schooling is legal in all 50 states, charters in only 40. Many of those 40 laws, however, are dogs that will never produce more than a rounding error number of schools. They’re not bad, they’re just drawn that way:

Precise numbers are not available, but twice as many or more students may be home-schooling than attending charter schools, and the rate of growth has been faster. High quality outcome data is hard to come by, but anecdotally universities have come to view home-school students very positively. I haven’t seen the same said for charter schools yet, nor have we seen (yet) a charter school student crush the evil Sooners like the bugs they are after winning the Heisman Trophy.

Im way too cool for you Carey, google my girlfriend

I'm too cool for you Carey, google my girlfriend...

Does it follow then that home-school supporters should be completely dismissive of charter schools? No of course not. The truth is that we don’t know what is going to take hold in K-12 reform, only that it is going to change.

Meanwhile, Andy Rotherham has delivered a brilliant column on the limitations of transparency that all but screams out at the end for a decentralized, self-regulating mechanism to hold schools accountable for results.

Ummm….you know….like parental choice.


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