Thousands Of Charter Schools Perform Poorly

| Educate!

Above Photo: Editorial Cartoon — Michigan Radio

“Performance-based accountability” is a hackneyed, Skinnerian, neoliberal buzz-phrase often repeated dogmatically by charter school promoters in order to falsely claim that privately-operated nonprofit and for-profit charter schools are more accountable and higher-performing than public schools.

But it is becoming clearer to everyone with each passing day that charter school promoters have long vastly over-promised and under-delivered, while rapidly enriching themselves at the expense of students, parents, the public, the economy, and the national interest.

Extensive research, including research funded by billionaire charter school supporters, has consistently demonstrated that poor performance remains widespread in the scandal-ridden low-transparency charter school sector that intensifies segregation.

Year after year, thousands of privately-operated nonprofit and for-profit charter schools, which have been around nearly 30 years, deliver unimpressive results.

Not surprisingly, several thousand charter schools have failed and closed since 1991. At this time, about 150-200 charter schools close each year, leaving thousands of families—mostly African Americans and Latinx—betrayed and angry.

Below, in chronological order, is a tiny sample of the many studies exposing poor charter school performance in many states:

Many other studies could be cited. In addition, serious, reliable, and seasoned bloggers everywhere are also collecting, archiving, discussing, and sharing extensive evidence on the failures of charter schools on many other fronts, not just widespread poor test performance.

It is worth noting that both public schools and privately-operated nonprofit and for-profit charter schools are victims of expensive, curriculum-narrowing, time-consuming, high-stakes standardized tests produced by large for-profit corporations that have no idea what a human-centered education looks like. Such corporations are retrogressive and harmful in many ways; they are not concerned with the growth and well-being of children, or the future of society.

The research on how damaging and unsound these expensive corporate tests are is robust, unassailable, and constantly-growing.

High-stakes standardized testing has nothing to do with learning, growth, joy, or serving a modern society and economy. Unsound assessments do not prepare young people for life. High-stakes standardized testing does not even rest on a scientific conception of measurement; it is discredited psychometric pseudo-science through and through.

Still, with these important caveats in mind, thousands of charter schools, even when they cherry-pick students with impunity, dodge tests and ratings, and massage or misreport test scores, perform worse on these flawed, top-down, widely-rejected corporate tests than public schools.

There is no justification for the existence, let alone expansion, of privately-operated nonprofit and for-profit contract schools that are rife with fraud and endless other problems.


  • Infarction

    Most of us on this board would have predicted the outcomes of these privatization scams would only benefit the capitalist class. So far not only is privatized education receiving failing grades, but so are privatized prisons, or privatized war (think Blackwater).

    If we could only convince the rest of the US culture that privatized health care, energy companies, public transportation, Internet service, etc. should be owned by We the People, we might make some progress toward solving wealth inequality and the climate disaster.

  • rgaura

    Socialism! One of my favorite institutions are libraries, so I must be a socialist, too!

  • Alienate

    Yes! Charter schools are Failing! Failing to Indoctrinate our kids with as much Propaganda and Bullshit as our Public School system. Failing to keep up with the scores on national testing by being able to regurgitate “facts” set forth by Big Brother. Charter schools actually teach kids how to use Critical Thinking and become Self Determined.. OH! MY! The Horror! Who the Fuck is this PR.ORG supporting? Many articles call out The Man, but many love to LICK his BOOTS.

  • Alienate

    What Fucking “Board”?

  • Infarction

    Lots of newly-minted trolls have invaded this board lately.

  • Michael Falk

    The sole purpose of privatizing anything is “for profit” and hence, profit becomes the primary goal reducing everything else to a subordinate rhetorical role of justification for the profit. It’s the unabashed ideal of capitalism.