Home > Uncategorized > WaPo’s Jay Matthews Should Know Better! Charters “Outperformance” and Efficiency Can Be Readily Explained

WaPo’s Jay Matthews Should Know Better! Charters “Outperformance” and Efficiency Can Be Readily Explained

December 7, 2020


As the above article from the Washington Post illustrates, Jay Matthews seems to be getting more and more supportive of charter schools of all kinds and less and less an advocate for democratically governed public education.

I am disappointed with his assertion that charters outperform public schools without acknowledging that they benefit from the fact that they screen out children in households where parents are either unable or incapable of pursuing enrollment due to the adverse conditions in their lives. This means that public schools have a critical mass of disengaged parents while charters are assured of having parents who are committed to seeing their children succeed.

Furthermore, Matthews should know that charters operate on lower budgets not only because they pay teachers less; charter schools also offer fewer benefits and have no legacy costs and, in many cases, no overhead costs.

Lastly… and most disappointing… Matthews argues against the oversight of public education by democratically elected school boards. How does Matthews think taxpayers can be happy with the lack of transparency that goes along with privately operated for profit enterprises? Has he not seen how bogus fly-by-night online charters ripped off PA taxpayers to the tune of millions of dollars?

Thankfully Valerie Strauss offers a reasoned counterbalance to Matthews… one that is open to charters so long as they are overseen by some democratically controlled board. Public education is a public good… NOT a commodity that can be measured using simplistically devised tests.

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