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FACEBOOK DIALOGUE: On Charter Schools

Kathleen Anderson Kathleen Anderson Some years ago I asked why students in private schools do better. The answer I received was that the private schools are comprised of a concentrated, self-selected population who are focused on education. What do you think?
SMS frawingI think BOTH the question and answer are wrong.
 
First should come the issue of free choice.  Poor people are not wards of the state.   The issie of use of public mney to fund a diversity of school chocies is a red herring.  The state money that foes into a charter, for example is always (by law) less than the public money that goes into the usual public schools because the only public funds available to a charter is the base funding all students get.
Why should that money make nay kid a ward of the state? People with money get to choose where their kids go to school. They do that by both private schools and by choice of where to live. Some choose schools where religion is taught , some schools are ethnic, some push athletics, and, yes, some are still segregated.
Anothe FB friend posted trhis to argue that our shcools treat different ethnicities differenoty. Perhopas, byt the more obvious conclusion is that ethnic origns are very impoirtnat in hw well a kid soes in college,

Another FB friend, Susan Goding,  posted this to argue that our schools treat different ethnicity differently. Perhaps, but the more obvious conclusion is that ethnic origins are very important in how well a kid does in college. One way to answer this might be to compare Black and Hispanic kids vs white kids who graduate from Catholic schools.   My bet is that the Catholic Schools wipe out much of this ethnic gap. So, why shouldn’t a kid from Mexico have this choice?

Our current public schools treat this class of kids very much like we treat welfare recipients or … sadly … prisoners.  While we  need some limits, it seems obvious to me that our present system violates the freedom of association as well as several implied rights in the Constitution.  Imagine what would happen if we applied the same rules to all the schools, private as well, in WA state?

Second, the argument that private schools do better because they are selective is not supported by real data.   The only way to actually make that comparison is by a rigorous demographic study focused on classes of kids.  Eg there are private schools that focus on high achieving kids.  So, we should ask do kids with high IQs (however that is measured) do better in private schools?  How about autistic kids?  Immigrant kids????  That kind of study design is hard to do.

Third, the argument is also contradicted by the comparison to foreign schools.  The advantages of ethnic homogeneity in Finland or Malaysian schools are obvious.


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