Tuesday, July 20, 2010

More Charter School Goodness

again, via Joanne: What Parents want
quoting the Ph. Daily News:
Parents like charter schools. They really like them. A whopping 90 percent of parents who had chosen charter schools for their children – and an even higher 92 percent of Catholic school parents – approve of the choices they made.
This is perhaps the silliest thing I've read in a while. This surprises anyone? Charter schools and Catholic schools are not the default. You have to go out of your way to get your kid into them. You have to pay for Catholic schools. A parent of a charter school kid is automatically in favor of what they're doing - otherwise he wouldn't BE a charter parent, would he? And yet, only 90% of them are happy with what they've gone to great lengths to get?

Think about that for a minute.

Far more enlightening would have been the percentage of ALL parents who liked charter schools ... but that wouldn't distort the data enough, would it? Selection bias, anyone?
Parents don’t like district public schools. They really don’t like them. In the Pew poll, 58 percent of parents with kids in district schools said the overall job they were doing was “only fair” or poor. Nearly two-thirds of district school parents – 63 percent – said they had considered leaving the district for charter or parochial schools.
Nearly 95% had dreams of being a fireman, too. Anyway. So ... 63% considered leaving and decided not to. They were satisfied with what they got. The other 37% of the parents didn't even consider it an option. Therefore 100% of the parents of public school kids were satisfied with their choice. See what happens when you play with statistics?
Parents want safety and discipline in school. They really want it. Parents in focus groups rarely mentioned academics unless they were prompted to do so. Their positive evaluations of charter and Catholic schools – and their highly negative assessment of district schools – were based mostly on the perceived availability of safety, discipline and a caring environment.
Show me a parent who doesn't want safety and discipline. Go ahead, I'll wait.

This is an interesting thing. The only thing that anyone could point to in favor of the charter schools was "a PERCEIVED availability of safety, discipline and a caring environment." Tell me why charters are better at education, again?

Parents want choices. They really want them. Most parents ( 72 percent) said they don’t have enough choices in schools, and increasing parental choice is the best way to improve education.
Another ridiculous question, bent and distorted in the retelling. "Do you want a choice of schools?" What person says, "No"? Someone supremely satiastfied with what the schools are doing or one who is decidedly against vouchers - 28% of the folks. The 72% want choices - not necessarily Catholic schools, or vouchers, or charter schools. Lots of people want to go to a different public school. They're tired of the city shifting districts around or sending kids further afield than the local school. They want to go to a certain public school.

"and increasing parental choice is the best way to improve education." That's just the Daily News slant on things. They had to throw that in there to make themselves feel good.

UPDATE: Just skimmed the Pew study, executive summary..

"Seventy-two percent of those polled say that parents in the city do not have enough good choices when it comes to picking a school." That includes those precious charter schools and Catholic schools.

and remember that damning "58% of parents with kids in district schools said the overall job they were doing was “only fair” or poor."?

What the Pew study actually said was:
"While only 40 percent of parents with children in district-run schools think the public school system as a whole is doing a good or excellent job, 71 percent judge their own children’s schools to be good or excellent."

Funny how the Daily News cherry-picked that one out, huh?

1 comment:

  1. Great, thoughtful post. Liars, damned liars and statisticians every time.