Sunday, March 2, 2008

Rebutting six common charter school criticisms

School choice opponents often recycle the same tired arguments against common-sense reforms. The Center for Education Reform has issued a paper rebutting, with proof, six common attacks used by opponents of charter schools:

Here are the six erroneous criticisms:

1) Creates Balkanization in Education (The "Charter Schools Segregate" Argument)
2) Competition Has No Impact (The Anti-Ripple Argument)
3) Innovation Is Lacking (The "Prove It's So Different" Argument)
4) More Accountability is Needed (The Process Versus Progress Argument)
5) No Evidence That They Work (The Double Standard Argument)
6) The Common Good Is Undermined, Sort Of (The "Choice Is Bad For Democracy" Argument)

The CER shoots down each of these attacks in turn. While this is not a recent paper -- it's from 2002 -- these anti-charter arguments are still in play.

Their parting shot:

Charter schools are based largely upon accountability. They must be approved by a state agency designed to review the quality and effectiveness of these schools. If the applications cannot clear the bar, or if the schools do not meet their contractual obligations, the public good is not served and the school will not be approved or will be shut down.

Can traditional public schools make the same claim?

(Hat tip to Tulsa Chiggers, a leading blog advocating for charter schools in Oklahoma.)

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