Several days ago I wrote about the "myths" in Obama's education speech to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
It seems that the speech also included some exaggerations and falsehoods.
According to factcheck.org, Obama's claim that the high school dropout rate has "tripled" in the past thirty years is simply wrong. In fact, the dropout rate has "declined by a third."
And Obama's stated goal "of having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world" by the year 2020 has already been reached. Or almost reached:
Obama also promised to put more money into charter schools. In my earlier post I wondered why, considering that charters typically perform no better than traditional neighborhood schools in terms of student achievement. But there's also a dark side to charter schools that seldom reaches the public ear.
Consider this news from Atlanta involving the vaunted KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) charter school organization. It seems that some parents of students at KIPP South Fulton Academy are angry about "excessive punishment" related to the the school's "high expectations for conduct." The parents have threatened to pull their students from the school.
Rumors have long circulated about KIPP's "shunning" of students with typical middle school behavioral problems. A related issue is KIPP's high attrition rate, which critics say largely accounts for its high test scores.
Here in Portland, a new audit of charter schools raises questions about their value to improving public education. Not only does the district audit show a "mixed" result for the impact of charters on improving student achievement, it also reports that charters serve fewer low income or minority students than traditional public schools.
More significantly, the audit warns of an adverse impact of charters on neighborhood school enrollment. It says specifically,
"If charter school students attended their neighborhood school at the same rate as other children living in their neighborhood, an estimated 31 additional teachers could be assigned to PPS schools."
As I've said before on many occasions, charter schools are not the reform we need to improve public education.