Sunday, October 17, 2010

The "Charter Movement" Is Not The No-Excuses Movement
Or: Why There's So Much Charter-Love And So Much Bad Charter Data

A user, under the nom de plum of cybergrace, posted this comment yesterday, on an old post in this blog. Thank you cybergrace, whoever you are, for bringing this up.

Since I put up my page on the No-Excuses Movement, and since Waiting for Superman started generating all this media hype, a number of people have come to me with data of the kind cited in cybergrace’s comment—data showing that charters, on average, are worse than public schools.[1] Well, what do you say to that? everyone wants to know. There’s a lot of legitimate confusion around this issue, so let me try to clear this up.

When Arne Duncan, Davis Guggenheim, and the like say that there’s a model out there that works and is ready to “go to scale,” they’re not talking about charter-schools in general; they’re talking about a specific pedagogical model, called No-Excuses education. Debates on the subject have been careless about maintaining that distinction, however, and the result is a peculiar tangle of incidental ideological alliances and confusing data.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

To all my faithful visitors-- I see there are a couple of you stopping by every day-- I apologize for the lack of posts lately. I have been on the road for most of the last two weeks, and my computer recently had a cold shower, courtesy of a glass of ice-water and a rambunctious seven-year-old, in the restaurant of the Embassy Suites Hotel, Brea, CA; so as you can imagine, it's been difficult to get work done. This post is being typed on a borrowed machine, but I'm hitting the electronics stores tomorrow, and rest assured, I'll be back in action sometime soon.