Saturday, October 02, 2010


It has been widely reported that just 17% of charter schools perform better than public schools. If 17 % are better that means that 83% are no better and possibly worse. Those are disappointing statistics for those who put all their hopes in charter schools for a renewal of American education. But how is that 17% measured? Using the same old standardized tests? How else?

It is time we learned to observe, measure, test and verify other important areas of learning and growth. Creativity, disciplined engagement, and teamwork.


  1. Anonymous10:58 AM

    A school that drills its kids with 6 hours of homework a night and leaves them burnt out and cynical about learning may be labeled "successful." A school that instills a love of learning and artistic expression yet obtains below average test scores is warned to "improve." I agree - we need much broader definitions of "success" in education.

  2. The perfect point. I posted the other day about the timber framed home being built next door to CSS.

    Sal, the builder/owner is a former Clear Spring Student from when CSS had only an elementary school. He went on to graduate from Eureka Springs Public High School, chose to go to sea where he crewed on sailboats for a few years and obtained his captain's license.

    Math was far from his favorite subject, but the structure you see in the photos is all geometry and was all laid out on warped and irregular timbers on the ground to be erected to a perfect fit.

    The great shame of modern education is that too few observe the importance of engaging kid in confidence for life-long learning.

  3. I always have trouble believing these sorts of stats because I have seen them manipulated too often. Our own local school system got in trouble for "creative" stats a year ago- they were claiming a 90% graduation rate... but when one obtained the raw data, which took investigative reporters a lawsuit to do, it turns out they were figuring the 90% from the number of seniors who graduated- but if you followed individual students from K-forwards, it was more like 27% graduation; it's just that they dropped out before starting the senior year.

    Anyway, Charter schools, and vouchers, which I support, are also about choice. We rank choice so highly in everything but education.