I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Newark Charters: Let's Please Get the Facts Right

Laura Waters:
Look to our charters. At KIPP's TEAM Academy Charter School in Newark students attend school from 7:30-4:00 Mondays through Fridays and also go to school two Saturdays a month. The school year begins in August and goes through June. TEAM's students regularly outperform peers at other area schools despite similar demographics. [emphasis mine]

TEAM has a substantially higher female population than the Newark Public Schools. It has a lower Special Education population, and a much lower Limited English Proficient population. The racial profile of TEAM's student population differs very substantially from that of NPS. The two schools have similar Free & Reduced Price Lunch-eligible populations, but the Free Lunch-eligible population -- a measure of deeper poverty -- is greater at NPS.

Newark's charter schools do not serve the same population of students as the Newark Public Schools.

TEAM may well be a fine school; it's one of the better charters in Essex County at trying to enroll the students who are underserved by many of the other charters in Newark. But it does not serve the same types of students as NPS. And when you consider TEAM's student population, its outcomes are good, but not spectacularly better than the local public schools.

Look, I'm all for a good debate on this stuff. Maybe TEAM's longer day has benefits. But we can't assess whether it does unless we all agree on the facts. We can't make any good education policy decisions unless we look at the data we have appropriately and correctly.

Is it so wrong of me to point this out? Over and over and over and over and over...

Jersey Jazzman (artist's conception)

Note: The original graph I had up for a bit had slightly wrong percentages (weight your averages, JJ - duh...). Sorry about that; want to get this stuff exactly right every time.

Also: some reading about why Newark's SpecEd percentage is not really comparable to TEAM's SpecEd percentage.


Giuseppe said...

At usnews.com it says the student to teacher ratio is 15 to 1. That's a lot better than the district schools. I wonder what the teacher turnover rate is at Team Academy? http://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/new-jersey/districts/team-academy-charter-schoool/team-academy-charter-school-12451

Candy Brown said...

I don't understand how public schools can be run by outside corporations, so urban tax dollars should be returned to urban tax payers. Since corporations such as KIPP foundation are running urban public schools. Hey, this reminds me of slavery, the slave masters ran and owned the planations and made money off of our work. So now they have come to own us again and close urban public schools, open charter schools and make money off of urban students not suburban students. I guess we like to be slaves, be told what to do, where to send our children to school, where to live, we like to be owned by them.

Candy Brown said...

People are not stupid either. Who runs KIPP. Going to school longer hours doesn't make students better academically. The people who run KIPP have access to a lot of things. Christie and his friends want to close all public schools because for money reasons. They know they can fool urban people more than the suburban parents by calling black and hispanic schools failing schools. Suburban parents wouldn't tolerate anybody calling their schools or children failing. You don't know if KIPP students are doing better than public school schools students are. You are not watching to see what the KIPP teachers are teaching or the curriculum. And you are not watching the people grade the standardized test of the KIPP students and the public school students. Everybody is just going by what we are being told.