CREDO Says Pennsylvania Charter Schools Are Weak and Unimpressive

In another recent study on charter schools, the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University, “finds little to no progress in charter school impact in Pennsylvania.” ((CREDO at Stanford University finds little to no progress in charter school impact in Pennsylvania since release of CREDO’s 2013 national charter school report, June 4, 2019.))

A June 4, 2019 press release from CREDO states that: “Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) found over four years of study that the typical charter school student in Pennsylvania makes similar progress in reading and weaker growth in math compared to their traditional public school peer (TPS).”

The press release does not mention what sort of selective enrollment practices are practiced in Pennsylvania’s charter schools, but it is well-known that charter schools across the nation regularly cherry-pick their students. It is also worth noting that, “Of the state’s 15 cyber charters, 10 are operating with expired charters.” ((Hanna, M. “In Pa., most cyber charter schools operate with expired state agreements“, January 14, 2019, The Philadelphia Inquirer.))

The CREDO Pennsylvania finding is extra significant given that it comes from an organization that is unrelentingly pro-charter school and funded heavily by billionaires who have been working for years to impose privately-operated charter schools on the entire country (e.g., Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Walton Foundation).

Nearly 30 years after they appeared on the American education landscape, charter schools, which barely make up seven percent of all schools in the country, have demonstrated weak results on a broad and consistent basis. These privately-operated segregated schools that often over-suspend students and hire uncertified teachers have also been unable to escape endless scandals and problems that appear in the news literally every few hours.

In a recent article ((Tell, S. “Thousands of charter schools perform poorly”, Dissident Voice, May 5, 2019.)) I cite relevant and current research, some from charter school supporters themselves, that shows that thousands of charter schools across the country, not just Pennsylvania, continue to perform poorly.

Shawgi Tell is author of the book Charter School Report Card. He can be reached at Read other articles by Shawgi.