US study finds poor result for charter schools
A new independent study in the United States shows that after 20 years in existence, traditional public schools continue to out-perform charter schools overall.
In 2009, a study by Stanford University’s Centre for Research on Educational Outcomes (CREDO) found “a wide variance in the quality of the nation’s several thousand charter schools with, in the aggregate, students in charter schools not faring as well as students in traditional public schools.”
A 2013 update by CREDO found 56 percent of charter schools made no significant difference and 19 percent had significantly weaker learning gains than traditional public schools. This contrasts with 2009, when 37 percent of charter schools showed gains that were worse than their traditional public school counterparts, and 46 percent made no difference.
NZEI National President Judith Nowotarski says this study shows that even after two decades of significant additional philanthropic investment in charter schools, these taxpayer-funded privately-run schools do not justify their existence. Instead, they divert focus from improving state schools so that all children get the best education possible.
“It backs what educationalists in New Zealand have been saying all along – that charter schools are not the answer to improving educational outcomes for children. Instead, they’re about privatising our public school system by allowing private companies to run and profit from schooling.
“We’re extremely concerned that the Government is about to use New Zealand children as guinea-pigs in an ideologically-driven experiment when there is absolutely no evidence to show that charter schools will improve their education.
“Once again, we call on the Government to back down from this dangerous approach and instead work with the sector to improve educational outcomes for all New Zealand children.”
The Government is due to approve New Zealand’s first charter schools in August.