NJEA published its monthly missive yesterday, this one refuting any value to charter schools in New Jersey, except as short-term “laboratories” to test “best practices.” Specifically, the “NJEA News Service” cites Bruce Baker’s analyses of charter schools throughout the country. Here’s NJEA’s summary:
In fact, data released by Rutgers university researcher Dr. Bruce Baker indicates that charters perform at a level below most public schools.
In fact, here’s Dr. Baker’s recap on his blog, SchoolFinance101:
So, what does this more complicated, but still not complicated enough analysis tell us? It tells us that average charter school performance from 2004 to 2006 on elementary assessments is no different from that of average performance in other poor urban schools – specifically the host districts of those charters. It just says this in a more complicated way. Sometimes simple averages – when not deceptive – can be sufficient.
In other words, Baker, no charter school advocate, concludes that most charter schools perform at a similar level to traditional public schools.
The NJEA leadership is doing no favors for its members by distorting borrowed data. We know it’s threatened by the charter school movement and Obama’s Race To the Top criteria, but that’s no excuse for political propaganda disguised as scholarship.