Research: Contrasting Views Of New Charter Study
Advo-journalist Andy Rotherham says the new Mathematica-CPRE charter school management study shows "it is indeed possible to build a lot of schools that are game-changers for a lot of students." Longtime education writer Tom Toch paints quite a different picture: "It’s more hopeful than realistic...to expect such organizations to transform public education on their own." For the complete Rotherham colum click here. For the full Toch analysis of the study, read below.
"The report paints a very mixed picture of the 40 CMOs that have reached a modicum of scale (4 schools) since the onset of the CMO movement in the late 1990s. Some of them have outperformed regular public schools significantly, others have significantly underperformed their public school peers. (The study includes only middle schools; a subsequent study will report on CMO high schools, which generally have had a tougher time providing high quality instruction). Some of the CMOs in the study have received substantial financial and technical support. That some have nonetheless struggled reinforces the reality that truly high quality CMOs are likely to reach only a modest number of students in the coming years. We should cheer the expansion of KIPP, Achievement First, Aspire and the handful of other CMOs with great academic track records, and we should study what makes them successful. But it’s more hopeful than realistic, the new study makes clear, to expect such organizations to transform public education on their own.”