More bad news for charters

Still another study tosses cold water on the idea that charter schools are the magic solution to the country’s educational problems. In fact, charter supporters may find this one more troubling than previous studies, which basically concluded that charter schools, on average, are no better or worse than traditional public schools.

The newest study, conducted by a University of Texas researcher, concludes that African American high school students in Texas are three times more likely to drop out from a charter system than from a traditional public school. An Austin Chronicle article about the study is linked below.

Although already under attack by some charter supporters, the study seems to punch a huge hole in the theory, which charter operators have promoted, that charters offer an educational lifeline to minority students.

The study – “Is Choice a Panacea? – by Julian Vasquez Heilig, an assistant professor in the UT College of Education, compares Texas charter districts with the state’s large urban school districts – Austin, Houston and Dallas – from 1998 to 2008. During that time, the dropout rate for African American high school students in the traditional public schools was 4 percent. It was 13 percent in the charter districts.


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