Key Issues


Advocates argue that charter schools will improve education for everyone, even for those who don’t attend them, but that’s not what the research says.

  • One of the best research studies on charter schools—published by the U.S. Department of Education—indicates that there is no difference between the overall average achievement of students who attend charters vs. those who do not, as well as no differences in attendance, homework completion, and safety and discipline.
  • A 2009 CREDO study that included about 70 percent of students currently enrolled in charter schools throughout the country found that while in a few cases charter schools do a good job, in most cases, they perform no better and are frequently worse than traditional public schools.
  • The 2009 CREDO report also suggested that increasing the number of charter schools in not the answer. Of the states doing the worst—Texas, Florida, Ohio, Arizona, Minnesota and New Mexico—the first four have 300 or more charter schools and rank below only California in the total number of charters. The states with charter schools outperforming non-charter public schools have fewer charter schools: Arkansas, Illinois (Chicago) and Missouri have fewer than 100 charters each, and Colorado has 140.
  • A 2013 follow-up CREDO study showed some improvement, but the findings remained mixed.

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Imagine Schools to Ohio: “See You in Court!”

When the Ohio Department of Education moved to close two imagine charters for “overall poor performance,” Imagine Schools responded like someone trying to get out of a speeding ticket: it’s suing the state for failing to close schools that perform even worse. As reported in the Akron Beacon Journal: The lawsuit alleges that the state […] Read More »

Pearson is cashing in without results

  |   Tags: Accountability, Public Control, Quality, Transparency

Pearson is making tens of millions from taxpayer dollars from deals made without competitive bidding, even though there is little proof that their services and products are effective. A POLITICO investigation found that “Pearson’s contracts set forth specific performance targets — but don’t penalize the company when it fails to meet those standards. And in […] Read More »

UnChartered Territory

The School Project made a series of documentary films about the effect of school closures on Chicago’s families and educators.  “A team of documentary filmmakers began following affected families and educators, policymakers, and advocates as the closures unfolded — and their stories became a jumping-off point for exploring so many urgent questions facing public education today.” […] Read More »