Day: <span>August 13, 2013</span>

The charter school performance gap


Although it was easy to miss in last week’s Texas Education Agency announcement, there was a distinct performance gap between traditional public schools and charters in the new school accountability ratings. The traditional public schools overall performed significantly better.

Some 975 of 1,026 public school districts met state standards. That was 95 percent, compared to only 80 percent of charters – 161 of 202. About 5 percent of public school districts required improvement, compared to about 15 percent of charters. Eleven charters and one public school district weren’t rated.

This is more proof, unfortunately, that it was a bad idea for the Legislature – at the behest of Sen. Dan Patrick and other school privateers – to raise the cap on the number of charters that Texas can grant. That new law, which TSTA opposed, will gradually increase the number of charters from the current 202 to 305 by 2019.

Had Patrick had his way, he would have removed the charter cap entirely, despite earlier studies showing that charter schools, as a whole, are largely overrated. An education “reformer” in his own mind, Patrick wouldn’t know true education reform if it came up and bit him on the nose.