I’ve previously written several times about my concerns about charter schools and how they are often described by some school reformers as the answer to all that ails public education.
I thought it would be useful to readers, and to me, to bring together some articles that I’ve found useful in learning about charters.
You might also be interested in A Beginning List Of The Best Posts & Articles On The Charter School CREDO Study.
Here are my choices for The Best Posts & Articles Analyzing Charter Schools:
Schools Of Last Resort by Walter Gardner at Education Week.
The Myth of Charter Schools by Diane Ravitch at The New York Review of Books.
Charters vs. public schools: Behind the numbers by Valerie Strauss at the Washington Post.
What charter schools really tell us about education reform by Raina Kelley at Newsweek.
Charters: To Skim or Not to Skim? by former Executive Director Claus von Zastrow at Learning First.
What’s not to like about charter schools?
Question raised about new KIPP study (with update) by Valerie Strauss
10 Things Charter Schools Won’t Tell You is the headline of an excellent article from, of all places, The Wall Street Journal.
Myths and realities about KIPP is an excellent column in The Washington Post’s Answer Sheet blog. It’s written by Richard D. Kahlenberg, a senior fellow at The Century Foundation. Here’s an excerpt:
The big difference between KIPP and regular public schools, however, is that whereas struggling students come and go at regular schools, at KIPP, student leave but very few new children enter. Having few new entering students is an enormous advantage not only because low-scoring transfer students are kept out but also because in the later grades, KIPP students are surrounded only by successful peers who are the most committed to the program.
The McEducation of Charter Students is a very impressive essay at NPR. It’s written by Natalie Hopkinson
More questions for KIPP was published in the Washington Post.
Charter Schools: What Would Dr. King Say? comes from Miller-McCune.
Measuring poverty in education policy research comes from School Finance 101.
Among Charter Schools, Inconsistency Begets Opportunity is from the Shanker Blog
KIPP Schools Enroll Fewer ELLs and Special Ed. Students is by Mary Ann Zehr at Ed Week. Study Finds High Dropout Rates for Black Males in KIPP Schools is also by Mary Ann.
KIPP’s Advantages — And Drawbacks is by John Thompson at This Week In Education.
Same Kids, Same Building, Same Lies is by Gary Rubinstein.
KIPP and Its Critics Are Both Right is by John Thompson.
Obama and Duncan Are Wrong About Charters by Diane Ravitch is a couple of years old but still worth reading.
The Offensively Defensive Ideology of Charter Schooling is from School Finance 101.
Low-income students and KIPP charter schools appeared in Valerie Strauss’ Washington Post blog.
Facts and opinion from Steve Brill’s new book comes from The Hechinger Report.
A ‘Summary Opinion’ Of The Hoxby NYC Charter School Study is from The Shanker Blog.
Peer Effects And Attrition In High-Profile Charter Schools is another great post from The Shanker Blog.
Reports on charter schools expose new problems is by Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post.
New Charter Study by Mathematica With More Bad News for Corporate Ed Reform is from Schools Matter.
Matthew Di Carlo at The Albert Shanker Institute has recently published — in three parts — what is probably the best and most even handed analysis of charter school research. The three posts are:
The Evidence On Charter Schools
Explaining The Consistently Inconsistent Results Of Charter Schools
The Uncertain Future Of Charter School Proliferation
Private Money For Public Education is from The New Yorker. The Educated Reporter has an interesting commentary on the article, too.
Charter schools: public in form but private in essence is by Mike Klonsky.
New Policy Brief: The Evidence On Charter Schools And Test Scores is from The Shanker Blog.
Charter schools are not the solution: The widow of famed UFT leader Albert Shanker blasts ‘reformers’ appeared in The New York Daily News.
Charter Schools: The Good, the Bad, the…In-Between? and Studies Find Charters Vary in Quality, Creativity are both by Jackie Zubrzycki at Education Week.
Secrets of ‘miraculous’ charter management organizations appeared in Valerie Strauss’ blog at The Washington Post.
Charter schools aren’t the right answer is by Paul Thomas.
Are Charter Schools Public Schools? is by Diane Ravitch.
Time for Charter Schools to Come Home is by John Wilson at Ed Week.
How to fix the charter school movement (and what Albert Shanker really said) is by Diane Ravitch.
School Choice & Social Capital is by Justin Baeder.
Gerald Coles: KIPP Schools: Power Over Evidence is from Education Week.
Bad Teaching Practice #1: “I am Only Going to Teach Those Who Are Ready To Learn” is by Anthony Cody at Education Week.
Charter schools that start bad stay bad, study finds is from Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post.
Surprising — To Me, At Least — Statistic On Charter School Teacher Turnover
Charter schools put parents to the test is from Reuters.
Special Report: Class Struggle – How charter schools get students they want is also from Reuters.
How charter schools choose desirable students is by Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post.
From Portfolios to Parasites: The Unfortunate Path of U.S. Charter School Policy is by Bruce Baker.
The Line Separating Reformers from “Reformers” is by John Thompson, and is one of the more thoughtful pieces I’ve read about charter schools.
Excellent Post On New KIPP Charter Schools Study
A Controversial Consensus On KIPP Charter Schools is from The Shanker Blog.
Charter schools possess no magic formula is by Kevin Welner and appeared in USA Today.
What Makes KIPP Effective? Review examines a recent study by Mathematica Policy Research is from The Great Lakes Center.
A new round of segregation plays out in charter schools is from The Hechinger Report.
An Eye-Opening Article On Charter School Teacher Turnover
Teaching Lessons: What KIPP Did—and Didn’t—Learn From America’s “Best” Teacher is an excellent post by Andrea Gabor.
Charter School Gravy Train Runs Express To Fat City is from Forbes.
Charter Schools and the Future of Public Education is by Stan Karp at Rethinking Schools.
The charter-school lie: Market-based education gambles with our children is by Jeff Bryant and appeared in Salon.
The False Markets of Market Based Reforms is by Bruce Baker.
Chicago charter schools expel many more kids than district schools — new data is from The Washington Post.
The Tragedy behind Noble Street Charters – a Skimmed Lottery is from the Classroom Sooth.
New York Schools: The Roar of the Charters is by Diane Ravitch at The New York Review of Books.
Charter School Refugees is an excellent New York Times column by Andrea Gabor.
CPS fails to nurture a true vision for charters is from Catalyst.
EPI Stands By the Rigorous Methods and Findings of Its Report on Privately Run Charter Schools and the Rocketship Company is from The Economic Policy Institute.
At Success Academy schools, high-octane test prep leaves nothing to chance is from Chalkbeat.
Wait, Wait. Don’t Mislead Me! Nine Reasons to Be Skeptical About Charter Waitlist Numbers is from The National Education Policy Center.
Charter Schools Fail: New Reports Call Their ‘Magic’ Into Question is by Jeff Bryant.
What About the Kids Who Don’t Work Hard and Won’t Be Nice? is a great post by EdGator.
Charters, Public Schools and a Chasm Between appeared in The New York Times.
Everything You Need To Know About Charter Schools is from Vox.
What Explains KIPP’s Success? Peers May Be A Big Part of the Story is by Richard Kahlenberg.
Excellent NY Times Column: “The Original Charter School Vision”
Charter-Style Overhauls May Not Improve School Reading Deficiencies is from The Pacific Standard.
Why ‘no excuses’ charter schools mold ‘very submissive’ students — starting in kindergarten is from The Washington Post.
Why Don’t We Have Real Data on Charter Schools? is by Pedro Noguera in The Nation.
Verdict on Charter Schools Is Elusive is by Walt Gardner at Ed Week.
Teachers Are Not Superhuman is by Walt Gardner at Ed Week.
New York Chancellor Is Criticized for Remarks on Charters is from The New York Times.
The painful backlash against ‘no-excuses’ school discipline is from The Hechinger Report.
A System Entirely Composed of Charters? is from Ed Week, as is If Charters Work, What Is the Reason?
Charter Schools’ Arbitrary Rules Can Have Dire Consequences is from The New York Times.
When Charter Schools Are Non-Profit in Name Only is from The Pacific Standard.
Restoring Shanker’s Vision for Charter Schools is from The American Educator.
Ignoring One of the Big Problems With Charter Schools is from The Pacific Standard.
Smarter Charters is by Richard D. Kahlenberg and Halley Potter.
Separating fact from fiction in 21 claims about charter schools appeared in The Washington Post.
Charter Schools and the Most Disadvantaged is from Jack Schneider at Ed Week.
Quote Of The Day: Fascinating & Disturbing NY Times Article About Charter School
New York City charters leave thousands of seats unfilled despite exploding demand, study finds is from The Washington Post.
A Smarter Charter is from The Washington Post.
The Paradox of Success at a No-Excuses School is a new study by Joanne W. Golann. I have previously posted about her work.
This is not good: Charter school company Summit Academy Management sues teachers who quit.
When Charters Go Union is from The American Prospect.
Union-backed group calls for pause in federal money for charter schools is from The Washington Post.
The Verdict on Charter Schools? is from The Atlantic.
Major charter school expansion in the works for L.A. Unified students is from the L.A. Times.
State Supreme Court: Charter schools are unconstitutional is from The Seattle Times.
What makes a public school public? Washington state court finds charter schools unconstitutional. is from The Washington Post.
California charter school scores dive is from The Contra Costa Times. Live by test scores, die by test scores.
Comparing Charter and Magnet Schools is from Ed Week.
Why Don’t Suburbanites Want Charter Schools? is from The Atlantic.
Charter-School Movement Grows—for Real-Estate Investors is from The Wall Street Journal.
Fight over charter school signals philosophical differences in how schools are viewed is from WBEZ in Chicago.
At a Success Academy Charter School, Singling Out Pupils Who Have ‘Got to Go’ is from The New York Times.
Cyber Charters Have ‘Overwhelming Negative Impact,’ CREDO Study Finds is from Ed Week. Study on online charter schools: ‘It is literally as if the kid did not go to school for an entire year’ is from The Washington Post and covers the same study.
Quote Of The Day: Hillary Clinton on Charter Schools
Important point from @jerseyjazzman: union-bashing & public school bashing are holding smart #edreform back. https://t.co/DFabLrHp9R
— Ben Spielberg (@BenSpielberg) November 13, 2015
The Charter School Business is from The American Prospect. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles Analyzing Charter Schools.
Pondering Chartering: On Market Forces & Innovation? is from School Finance 101.
Selection Bias in Charter School Success is from Ed Week, and is by Walt Gardner.
Filing Alleges Bias at Success Academy Network Against Students With Disabilities is from The New York Times.
NY Times Video Of Success Academy Charter School: “Rip & Redo”
‘Got to Go’: high-performing charter schools shed students quickly is from The Guardian.
Student Attrition And “Backfilling” At Success Academy Charter Schools: What Student Enrollment Patterns Tell Us is from The Shanker Institute.
Mother of Girl Berated in Video Assails Success Academy’s Response is from The New York Times.
Online Charter Schools Tested by Setbacks and Self-Inflicted Blows is from NBC News.
The Shift Away From ‘No-Excuses’ Discipline is from The Atlantic.
Beyond the viral video: Inside educators’ emotional debate about ‘no excuses’ discipline is by Elizabeth Green.
Unequal Discipline at Charter Schools is from The Atlantic.
Charter Schools Suspend Black and Disabled Students More, Study Says is from The New York Times.
A Sea of Charter Schools in Detroit Leaves Students Adrift is from The New York Times.
Charters Suspend Blacks, Students With Disabilities More Than Peers is from Education Week.
What the Candidates Get Wrong About Charter Schools is from The Atlantic.
Bernie Sanders Says He Opposes Private Charter Schools. What Does That Mean? is from NPR.
Hedging Education: How hedge funders spurred the pro-charter political network. is from The American Prospect.
High Test Scores At A Nationally Lauded Charter Network, But At What Cost? is from NPR.
Report charges many charter schools exclude children in violation of the law is from Ed Source.
Video: John Oliver Takes On Charter Schools
Condemnation of Charter Schools Exposes a Rift Over Black Students is from The New York Times.
Do charter schools really help children improve? is from The Boston Globe.
Where Charter-School Suspensions Are Concentrated is from The Atlantic.
Questions Of Race And Charter Schools Divide Education Reformers is from NPR.
How Charter Schools Bust Unions is from Slate.
Education Department slammed for charter school oversight — by its own watchdog office is from The Washington Post.
Questioning Charter School Superiority is from Walt Gardner at Ed Week.
Five myths about charter schools is from The Washington Post.
The NAACP Takes A Major Stand Against The Growth Of Charter Schools is from The Huffington Post.
Push to expand California charter school enrollments provokes backlash is from Ed Source.
Massachusetts Voters Say No to Raising State Cap on Charter Schools is from Education Week (here’s a little more background on it from The Washington Post).
Just What IS A Charter School, Anyway? is from NPR.
Charter schools are expanding where they aren’t needed — especially in Los Angeles, new report says is from The L.A. Times.
California bill that critics say could cripple charter schools back in the spotlight is from Ed Source. It’s a bill that would stop county Boards of Education from approving charters that have been denied by local districts, and I sure hope it passes.
The Untold History of Charter Schools is by Rachel Cohen.
Why do billionaires care so much about charter schools? is from The L.A. Times.
Girls outnumber boys in charter schools, study shows. Here’s why that matters. is by Matt Barnum.
In a city of charters, the LA school district runs many of them is from Ed Source.
Oakland charters more likely to enroll higher-performing students than district schools is from Ed Source.
Some KIPP Houston schools charged unallowable fees, agency finds is from The Houston Chronicle.
6 problems the NAACP has with charter schools — and 5 of its ideas for how to reshape the sector is by Matt Barnum.
Michigan Gambled on Charter Schools. Its Children Lost. is from The NY Times
Stop Berating Black and Brown Parents Over Charters (and Give Your Twitter Fingers a Rest) is by Nate Bowling.
Success Academy’s Radical Educational Experiment is from The New Yorker.
US charter schools put growing numbers in racial isolation is from The Associated Press.
She Breaks Rules While Expecting Students to Follow Them is an excellent commentary on Eva Moskowitz and her charter schools. It appeared in The NY Times.
The problem with online charter schools is from Vox.
School districts need right to say ‘no’ to charters appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle.
‘It’s like a black and white thing’: How some elite charter schools exclude minorities is from NBC News.
Did the Charter Takeover Improve New Orleans’ Schools? is from Ed Week.
Charter school CEOs get massive paychecks thanks to private donors is from The NY Post.
What New Orleans Tells Us About the Perils of Putting Schools on the Free Market is from The New Yorker.
You’ll Want To Read This NY Times Column On Charter Schools & Segregation
Charter Schools: 7 Common Questions, Answered is from Ed Week.
Behind the scenes, Success Academy’s first high school spent last year in chaos. Can Eva Moskowitz turn it around? is from Chalkbeat.
With Democratic Wins, Charter Schools Face a Backlash in N.Y. and Other States is from The NY Times.
Nation’s first charter school strike ends, but could portend more battles on choice is from USA Today.
In Chicago, Tentative Agreement Reached In First U.S. Charter School Strike is from Public Radio.
Want a charter school application? If your child has a disability, your questions more likely to be ignored, study finds is from Chalkbeat.
Walmart heirs’ money influences black charter schools debate is from The Associated Press.
Do charter schools harm traditional public schools? Gov. Newsom wants to find out is from The L.A. Times.
Gov. Newsom asks to review impact of California charter schools on district finances is from Ed Source.
Charter schools exploit lucrative loophole that would be easy to close is from The Conversation.
California charter schools facing new oversight under fast track legislation is from Ed Source.
The Charter School Movement Washes Out in California is from The American Prospect.
Gov. Newsom signs legislation requiring charter school transparency in California is from Ed Source.
Charter school cap efforts gain momentum is from The Conversation.
‘Common sense regulations’ or ‘an extended middle finger’—how far will California go on charter schools? is from CalMatters.
Charter school growth slowing in Sacramento. What’s driving the statewide trend? is from The Sacramento Bee.
Gov. Newsom’s task force recommends more discretion to deny charter schools is from Ed Source.
Charter schools in some cities enroll few students mid-year. Here’s why that matters. is from Chalkbeat.
Critics of charter schools say they’re hurting school districts. Are they right? is from Chalkbeat.
Big news about charters here in California:
Charter school compromise could intensify L.A.’s school board battles is from The L.A. Times.
Gov. Newsom, legislative leaders agree on certification for all charter school teachers is from Ed Source.
Governor, lawmakers agree on new controls on California charter schools is from Ed Source.
THE BEST LINE EVER THAT EXPLAINS A KEY ADVANTAGE CHARTERS MAY HAVE OVER REGULAR PUBLIC SCHOOLS
NEW STUDY SAYS KIPP STUDENTS ARE MORE LIKELY TO GO TO COLLEGE, BUT…..
Big news here in California: New era for charter schools: Newsom signs bill after intensive negotiations is from Ed Source.
Some interesting things I learned from Robert Pondiscio’s book about Success Academy is from Rough Drafts.
Charter Schools Neither ‘Silver Bullet’ Nor ‘Apocalyptic,’ Research Indicates is from Ed Week. Here’s the report itself.
Minority Voters Chafe as Democratic Candidates Abandon Charter Schools is from The NY Times.
‘To embrace charter schools in 2020 is to embrace Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump,’ says black scholar who once led charters is by Andre Perry.
Charter Schools in Surprise Political Fight as Trump and Democrats Turn Away is from The NY Times.
Success Academy Faces Fierce Criticism Over Its Handling of Racial Issues is from NY1.
Arizona charter school got a PPP loan, gave $10 million to shareholder is from USA Today.
Yes, some charter schools do pick their students. It’s not a myth. is from The Washington Post.
Can We Stop Fighting About Charter Schools? appeared in The NY Times.
Charter school charged students with 15,243 violations in one year. What gives? is from The Washington Post.
The Untold History of Charter Schools is by Rachel Cohen.
Organized teachers dreamed up charter schools — but their vision got hijacked is from The Washington Post.
Charter Schools’ Scary Future is from The New Republic.
Via @NEPCtweet, 13 reasons why students attending charter schools may be different from those in traditional public schools: https://t.co/ZjfSImmLip pic.twitter.com/42EQAEuMlz
— Dylan Wiliam (@dylanwiliam) September 21, 2021
Why charter schools are not as ‘public’ as they claim to be is from The Conversation.
Michael Bloomberg pledges $750 million to expand charter schools is from The Washington Post.
13 ways charter schools shape their enrollment is from The Washington Post.
In some districts, charter schools that educate a minority of kids are literally bankrupting the school districts they draw from that serve a majority of children. The minority benefit at the expense of the many. This is a failed model. https://t.co/HRym8Xntuw
— noliwe rooks (@nrookie) December 3, 2021
Bloomberg’s charter push: Big money and bigger political peril is from Chalkbeat.
Will Bloomberg’s $750M charter donation move the needle on public ed? is from K-12 Dive.
The Conservative College That’s Expanding to Charter Schools is from The NY Times.
New Biden Administration Rules for Charter Schools Spur Bipartisan Backlash is from The NY Times.
What the Biden administration’s new rules for charter schools say is from The Washington Post.
Virtual charter schools see enrollments rise is from The Washington Post.
Audit of charter school program finds big problems is from The Washington Post.
New analysis of charter schools from @NEPCtweet finds their education advantages are questionable but they do excellent job of disrupting public school system and steering public money to private organizations that hide financials. https://t.co/wxgLrT0clo #CharterSchoolFail pic.twitter.com/IFQ3ltcFgq
— Jeff Bryant (@jeffbcdm) November 11, 2022
This is every bit as bad as you'd think it would be. Read to the end. https://t.co/PIcQoWxQ7z #charterschools #education
— Andrea (@teachbk) April 19, 2023
Feedback is always welcome, including additional suggestions.
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You might also want to explore the 500 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.
Is this really the list of the best posts analyzing charter schools, or just a list of the best posts that provide an analytical opposition to charter schools? Is the purpose of this list to encourage enlightened and thoughtful debate or is it to marshall forces against something that could become a threat to the current public school system/teachers’ unions?
As in any large and wide-ranging debate, there is some truth on both sides. When people fail to admit that the other side may have some validity, we reach stagnation and then the winner will be whoever has power – and they will likely write the loser out of the decision making process.
I believe that these posts accurately describe many of the positive aspects of charters, which I, too, believe they offer. At the same time, they describe the limitations of charters, and how they are often being used by others as a tool to attack non-charter public school education.
In fact, I believe that most of these posts give far more credit to charters than many charter advocates, such as the “Waiting For Superman” movie, offer to non-charters.
That being said, however, I’d invite you to share links to a few articles in the comments section that you believe provide a different perspective.
Recently had this link shared with myself and Diane Ravitch by @stuartbuck1 on Twitter. It is a study on KIPP schools from Mathematica Policy Research that is a thorough going analysis that directly addresses some of the common hot spots on the topic of KIPP. It is the most rigorous and thorough analysis of the data I have found. Here is the link: http://www.mathematica-mpr.com/publications/pdfs/education/KIPP_middle_schools_wp.pdf
In addition the quality of charter schools very greatly. Here are two recent studies on the Boston charter school scene that focus the debate not on “charters” as a whole, but where they may be working: one from the Boston Foundation: http://t.co/CuVQWPgM and one from the National Bureau of Economic Research http://t.co/PjFk1mtH.