Have Arizona charter schools really had "terrible results"?
In the June 5th edition of The Economist, in an article endorsing the expansion of charter schools, the reporter claimed that Arizona’s charter school system has performed badly:
Margaret Raymond, director of Credo, points to Arizona’s terrible results in 2009, which were the result of lax screening of those who were allowed to set up charter schools, and no serious reviews thereafter.
But Arizona education researcher Dr. Matthew Ladner, responding to the article in The Economist, has a different take:
No one has performed a random assignment study on charter schools in Arizona, but the random assignment studies that have been performed are quite positive for charter schools. The weight of the available evidence leads me to believe that the same would be true in Arizona. After all, if Arizona charter schools had persistently lower rates of academic growth, it would be hard to explain why general education low-income students consistently outperformed their district peers on all 5 2011 NAEP exams…
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