Friday, January 9, 2009

Stating the Obvious

Quote of the Day "That is the biggest lie in America. They waste money." Ben Chavis, Charter School Principal, response to public schools' complaints about money.

The following editorial appeared in the Union Leader. Talk about stating the obvious this is what charter school advocates, some homeschool advocates and school choice advocates have been stating for years. I should not leave out the very few great teachers who know this to be true as well. JFK should have never allowed government employees to unionize, this is when productivity declined and waste and corruption in government began to prosper.


Bureaucrats' bane: Charter schools work

How damaging to our children is the byzantine bureaucracy besetting public schools? A new study from Boston offers a disturbing answer: a lot.

The study, conducted for the Boston Foundation by Harvard and MIT scholars, found that students in Boston charter schools significantly outperformed their counterparts who were left trapped in the regular Boston public schools. Charter schools are public schools freed from bureaucratic regulations, and in which teachers are not unionized.

The study compared students who had been chosen by lottery to attend charter schools to students who applied but were not lucky enough to be selected. The charter school students scored far better in math and English than their counterparts left in the regular public schools.

Boston also has what are called "pilot schools." They are public schools in which some innovation is allowed, but teachers are unionized and most bureaucracy remains. Students in those schools performed worse than regular public school students.

This study shows, as others have, that bureaucracy and teacher unionization are associated with lower student performance. At this point, there really is no excuse for continuing to operate public schools the same old way. The data are in, and they show that alternative schools can do more with less.

Yet public school officials at all levels continue to resist changes that have been shown to benefit students. That is evidence enough that the bureaucracy and the unions are more interested in self-preservation than in education.

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