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Shawgi Tell: The Untold History of Charter School Failure

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Shawgi Tell, a Professor in upstate New York, thinks the public needs that charter school failure is widespread, commonplace, and underreported. Even now, mainstream publications like the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal treat charter schools reverentially, as if they know how to perform education miracles.

Professor Tell assembles research showing the frequent failure of charters. 

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He writes:

It is worth noting that both public schools and privately-operated nonprofit and for-profit charter schools are victims of expensive, curriculum-narrowing, time-consuming, high-stakes standardized tests produced by large for-profit corporations that have no idea what a human-centered education looks like. Such corporations are retrogressive and harmful in many ways; they are not concerned with the growth and well-being of children, or the future of society.

The research on how damaging and unsound these expensive corporate tests are is robust, unassailable, and constantly-growing.

High-stakes standardized testing has nothing to do with learning, growth, joy, or serving a modern society and economy. Unsound assessments do not prepare young people for life. High-stakes standardized testing does not even rest on a scientific conception of measurement; it is discredited psychometric pseudo-science through and through.

Still, with these important caveats in mind, thousands of charter schools, even when they cherry-pick students with impunity, dodge tests and ratings, and massage or misreport test scores, perform worse on these flawed, top-down, widely-rejected corporate tests than public schools.

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