Thursday, March 26, 2015

Depends on what you believe the policymakers' goal is

The "market forces" introduced by charterization don't actually improve academic performance.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A research group's survey of 30 New Orleans public schools found that competition for students hasn't necessarily driven efforts to improve academics.

The survey released Thursday was done by the Education Research Alliance for New Orleans at Tulane University in 2012 and 2013. It found only 10 schools responded to the competition resulting from New Orleans' rare, city-wide open enrollment policies by improving academics.

Twenty-five said they responded to competition by marketing existing school offerings.

The study's author, Huriya Jabbar said 10 schools dealt with competition by, in effect, screening enrollment - advising students to transfer out or advertising invitation-only events. At a news conference ahead of Wednesday's release of figures, the group noted that was a practice education officials have been taking steps to prevent.

"These findings suggest that schools do not always respond to competition in the way that policy makers hope," said Jabbar.
It does, however, encourage schools to engage in exclusionary admissions policy.  The "competition" is really about separating the better prepared students with more stable home lives (i.e. the wealthier kids) from everyone else.  Isn't that the policy goal in the first place?

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