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, July 18, 2010

Journal Follies

NJ Left Behind points to a Wall St Journal editorial (behind a subscription firewall) about how Obama has threatened to veto House Appropriations Chairman David Obey's plan to cut money from Race To The Top and put it into grants to districts to avoid layoffs. The very first phrase:
Rare is the occasion when President Obama challenges his party's left wing...
Gitmo, offshore drilling, public option, Afghanistan, Race To the Top, bank bailouts... oh, yeah, the left-wing pandering is just too intense.
We've sometimes criticized the details of Race to the Top, which provides education grants to reform-minded states. But there's no doubt that the program has prodded otherwise reluctant state legislatures to allow more charter schools, among other reforms. President Obama and Secretary Duncan have also consistently promoted more charter schools and called for more teacher accountability.
Funny, because just a couple of weeks ago:
The vast majority of charter students does no better or worse than their regular public counterparts in math and reading scores (or on most of the other 35 outcomes examined). On the other hand, charter parents and students are more satisfied with their schools, and charters are more effective boosting scores of lower-income students.

The study, of course, is not without caveats (e.g., bias from limiting the sample to middle schools and “oversubscribed” charters only), and there was wide variation in charter performance.
But the thoroughness and sophistication of the methods, the inclusion of charters in multiple locations across the nation, and especially the use random assignment from charter lotteries, make this analysis among the most definitive on the topic to date...
As I've said, charters can be good fits for certain kids. But the charter mania that is sweeping the "centrist" political landscape - and that has always been part of the right-wing noise machine - is more about putting unions in their place than adopting teaching methods with proven success.

And then the WSJ gives us this:
Total education spending grew by 32% between 1999 and 2009, while K-12 enrollment has grown by less that 1% each year over the same time period.
Real dollars?!?!

Honestly, if you put that into print, wouldn't you be embarrassed? Rupert?

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