Saturday, February 6, 2010

Choice and Charters, not all that is claimed (especially for the poor)

How School Choice Can Create Jobs for South Carolina, authored by Sven Larson, has been advocated by the South Carolina Policy Council Education Foundation, claiming that choice in the low country of SC produced jobs for the area.

But, a review for the Think Tank Review Project by Joydeep Roy of Georgetown University and the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., found that the claims are flawed and the report is more advocacy than research.

Further, a new study on the impact of charter schools, "Schools Without Diversity: Education Management Organizations, Charter Schools, and the Demographic Stratification of the American School System," reveals that, "as compared with the public school district in which the charter school resided, the charter schools were substantially more segregated by race, wealth, disabling condition, and language. While charter schools have rapidly grown, the strong segregative pattern found in 2001 is virtually unchanged through 2007."

These findings, I regret, will likely stay below the radar of mainstream media and most people and continue the patterns found by Molnar and Yettick regarding the reporting of credible research v. advocacy reports—advocacy receiving a disproportionate amount of coverage leading to more misinformation about schools (and choice) than credible information.