The Obama administration backs charter schools. But its education secretary will tell charter school officials today that poor ones give the movement a black eye. He'll refer to a recent Stanford study in 16 states, mentioned here earlier, that indicates there are some good charter schools, but as a whole, they do not outperform regular public schools. (Arkansas, with a relatively small number of charters, was singled out for better performance),
We all will be getting somewhere when the noisiest charter school dogmatists will finally admit the reality -- that calling something a charter school does not automatically make it better than a traditional public school. Then we will make a huge step when the same advocates admit the inherent advantage charter schools hold of being able to weed out students and families who don't commit to their rigorous groundrules for education. And we'll make yet an even bigger step when we figure out how to reach that group of families and students, the most at risk of failure, wherever they light.