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Trends and Issues in Education: The Charter School System
Ashley Caggiano
Strayer University of Nashville
Dr. Herdon
Contemporary Issues in Education: Edu. 505
August 12, 2011

1. Summary and Commentary

Article 1
Horn, J. (2011, January 16). Charter Schools: What Would Dr. King Say?. Retrieved on August 11, 2011, from http://www.miller-muccune.com/education/charter-schools-what-would-dr-king-say-26976/

The first article that I chose to review is called Charter Schools: What Would Dr. King Say? The title of the article suggests that it discusses diversity and segregation within the charter school system. It is argued that charter schools are more “segregated” than public schools. According to the author James Horn, “In statewide comparisons, the charter were 20 percent more segregated than the public schools, and in the more localized comparisons, the charters were 18 percent more segregated than neighboring publics” (p. 1). Claims are made that this statistic is leading back to the days of separate but equal and making it ok for segregation to happen.

The authors makes a point by suggesting is this “segregation” all that bad if the schools are meeting the expectations academically? He refers to the largest study conducted on charter schools. “The largest of the studies conducted by Stanford’s CREDO group included a longitudinal and peer-reviewed examination of 70 percent of the nation’s charter schools in 15 states and Washington D.C. The study found that only 17 percent of charters do better than matched public schools, 46 percent show no significant differences in performance, and 37 percent do worse than matched public peers” (p. 2). The evidence points in the direction that charter schools on paper are really no better than public schools.

The author points out that many charter schools have lost their soul and spirit. In the past they were creative and innovative run by people wanting to make a difference, and today many are run by wealthy CEOs trying to cash in. The bottom line is that the author believes that charter schools are not the answer to education reform. He seems to believe that we can fix what we have. He closes with a thought-provoking statement, “In coming years, if corporate foundations (the CEOs) would put as much economical weight behind rebuilding a stronger and more equitable public system of schools, rather than tearing down a system that took almost 200 years to create, then the ideals of American democracy would have a much better chance to survive these difficult times and, perhaps, one day flourish in ways we have yet to witness” (p. 3). Simply put, the author believes that if these CEOs put as much times and money into the public system as they did their charters, they could help to rebuild the current system and make a more fair and better education for all Americans. To him, the current answer to education reform is to quit trying to find new, separate schools but rather put that effort towards fixing what we have.

Article 2
Exploding the Charter School Myth. (2006, August 27). Retrieved on August 11, 2011, from http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/27/opinion/27sun1.html.

This next article, much like the last, has a tone of not being in favor of the charter school movement. The article titled Exploding the Charter School Myth opens with a powerful statement. “A federal study showing that fourth graders in charter schools scored worse in reading and math than their public counterparts should cause some soul-searching in Congress” (p. 1). If that statement didn’t cause soul-searching in congress, it definitely did in myself. In response to this study, those in favor of the charter school movement dismissed this study before it was even officially released. Their reason was, “its methodology was not perfect”.

The article goes on to say that the charter schools system itself isn’t necessarily bad, rather it could use some work. The author believes that charters...
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