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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System Failure: Louisiana’s Broken Charter School Law

The Center for Popular Democracy has a new report outlining the problems with Louisiana’s charter schools. The state has invested billions of dollars to charters and school takeovers; however, the rapid growth has not been accompanied by investment in oversight. “The state’s failure to create an effective financial oversight system is obvious, as Louisiana charter […] Read More »

Report offers a blueprint for a strong critique of federal oversight of charter schools

Feds Spent $3.3 Billion Fueling Charter Schools but No One Knows What It’s Really Bought The Center for Media and Democracy’s PR Watch wrote a report showing how taxpayer money is wasted by charter schools. (Read the full CMD Report on Charter School Waste and Lack of Accountability.) Excerpts from the report: “The U.S. Government Has […] Read More »

Pearson has a shocking amount of influence over America’s schools

  |   Tags: Oversight, Quality, Transparency

On May 3rd, John Oliver asked the question, “If standardized tests are bad for teachers and for students, who exactly are they good for?” In the segment, Oliver focused on the testing giant, Pearson, who, “as of 2012, had nearly 40% of the testing market, almost triple their nearest competitor.” [11:19] He spent the remainder outlining Person’s […] Read More »