Home > Uncategorized > NYTimes Upshot Post Makes Flawed Assumption in its Charter School Analysis

NYTimes Upshot Post Makes Flawed Assumption in its Charter School Analysis

Today’s NYTimes Upshot section, purportedly dedicated to providing mathematical analyses to social problems, ran an article today on charter schools that included a flawed analysis by education professor (and charter advocate) Susan Dynarski. The article proclaims that charters work in urban areas but do not work so much in suburban regions.

Ms. Dynarski makes one significant error in her analysis: There is selection bias built into the lottery! The lottery requires a level of parent engagement that separates parents who care about their child’s education opportunity from those who do not. The best test would be to disaggregate the test scores of “lottery losers” from the classmates attending public school and compare that group of students with charter students. My hunch is that the children of engaged parents in public schools will do as well as children attending charters. The “secret sauce” that everyone is seeking is parent engagement… and the route to achieving that is to support the parents in poverty not the billionaires who are funding the charter school movement.

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