Trump's anti-education Education Secretary owes millions in election fraud fines

I’ve been looking at charter schools critically for years. I didn’t “posit proof” as I’m not a mathematician. I provided evidence that charter schools provide satisfying choices to poor and middle class families who would otherwise have no choices. If you have evidence that the families who go to charter schools are less satisfied than the families who go to public school, then you should provide it. As it stands, the Department of Education agrees with me.

"Admission to study charter schools positively affected student and parent satisfaction with school. Across all measures of both student and parent satisfaction, charter school impacts were positive and statistically significant after adjusting for multiple hypothesis testing within this domain (Table IV.8).

"Specifically, admission to a study charter school increased by 12 percentage points the likelihood that a student reported that he or she “like(d) school a lot.” It also improved students’ views of their teachers, according to an index reflecting such views (3.41 for lottery winners versus 3.33 for lottery losers).73 Lottery winners on average gave their schools a higher “grade” than lottery losers (3.42 compared with 3.36—or a high versus low B+) across several dimensions, including classes, the principal, and various school facilities. Lottery winners also expressed more positive feelings toward their schools than did lottery losers, according to an index reflecting such feelings (3.43 compared with 3.30).74

“Similarly, admission to a charter school increased by 33 percentage points the likelihood that a student’s parent rated the student’s school as excellent and by 10 percentage points the likelihood that the parent strongly agreed with the statement that the student liked school. Relative to parents of lottery losers, parents of lottery winners were more satisfied with their child’s school, according to an index of parent satisfaction (3.40 versus 3.11), and perceived fewer problems in their child’s school, according to an index of perceived problems (1.28 versus 1.47).75, 76”

I agree with you. I said above that I’m not a fan of DeVos and that charter schools are a separate issue, in response to a reflexive condemnation of the only choice that poor families have in regards to their education.

I am most certainly not suggesting that charter schools are inherently superior. I’m only saying that poor and middle-class families deserve choices when it comes to one of the most profoundly personal endeavors any of us will undertake. And, again, denying them that choice is neither compassionate nor liberal.

This is fucking laughable:

[quote=Department of Education Investigation]1. Average Impacts

In our study, the average charter school impact was negative but not statistically significant (Table IV.1). This finding is consistent with the other studies in the following ways:

Studies that covered a wide span of states and/or districts, like ours, also found nonpositive average impacts. Zimmer et al. (2009) found that impacts on achievement were negative and statistically significant in 2 states and not significant in 5 states. CREDO (2009) examined charter schools in 14 states and found average impacts to be negative and significant, but small in magnitude (-0.01 standard deviation in reading and -0.03 in mathematics). Eight other non-experimental studies included charter schools in a single state and covered 7 unique states in total. Authors estimated negative average charter school impacts in 4 states and positive and significant impacts in 3 states (with one study finding positive and significant impacts at the elementary school level but insignificant impacts at the middle school level).95

The experimental studies found that charter schools serving large populations of disadvantaged and racial/ethnic minority group students had positive impacts. At first glance, our findings appear to be at odds with findings from previous lottery- based studies, which demonstrated positive and significant average impacts of attending a charter school on reading and mathematics test scores in five of six studies. However, previous lottery-based studies focused on large urban areas with large disadvantaged and racial/ethnic minority populations while our sample included a much broader mix of students.96 When we examined only sites in which the proportion of students eligible for free or reduced-price meals was above the sample median, the estimated charter school impact on mathematics achievement was positive and statistically significant (Figure V.6). Similarly, the impact on mathematics achievement was positive at the charter school sites in large urban areas (Figure V.9). In both cases, impacts on reading achievement were not statistically significant in the sites that most resembled the charter schools included in earlier lottery-based studies.[/quote]It goes on to say that the results from the charter schools are mixed in quality, with 11 having a positive impact and 17 studied having a negative impact, and that charter schools are the same or worse for all but the most impoverished schools.

Do I need to repeat myself again when I was right the first time? Charter schools show improvement when compared to the worst public schools in the US. What was the policy recommendation in this study? Smaller class sizes and selective student populations improve education.


Here are a few facts that I hope we can agree on.

  • There are lots of caring and competent teachers and administrators working in charter schools, just as there are in public schools.

  • Of course, just as in public schools, there are lots of uncaring and incompetent teachers and administrators working in charter schools.

  • There are lots of poor and middle-class families who are very grateful for their local charter schools.

But it really doesn’t matter what education professionals think (and I say this as a former education professional). What matters is what students and parents think. They deserve whatever educational choices can be made available to them.

I don’t even like most charter schools’ model of education. I wouldn’t have sent my own son to a charter, unless that was what he’d really wanted. I like choice, and unlike people who reflexively, ideologically oppose charters and vouchers, I respect the education choices of people who would make choices different from my own.

Here’s what I hope we can agree on:

*Trump doesn’t give a ratt’s butt about children or education
*Trump wants to funnel taxpayer money away from public education to his cronies
*Funneling off tax payer funds to profit poorly regulated private corporations is a recipe for massive rip offs


I agree with the first one.
I have no idea what Trump wants to do with public education money. He can’t do worse with it than school districts have already done.
There is zero evidence that charter schools are more “poorly regulated” than public schools.

That said, my greatest concern is that even at the best-funded, highest achieving schools in the U.S., large portions of the student body are miserable and not learning nearly as much as they could be. This charter school/public school debate, is, for me, a distraction from the much more important fact that coercive, arbitrary curricula is a demonstrably bad formula for a positive learning experience.

That’s a claim I think we can both dismiss out of hand. You cannot know that there is zero proof. You only know that you aren’t aware of any - not the same thing.

I’m thinking that betting Trump “can’t do worse at X than Y” is a losing bet. Trump may bankrupt the entire country. His choice of Education Secretary is proof that when it comes to doing worse, Trump is over qualified.


Thoughts and feelings are the last thing I am interested in using to guide public policy.


If we all sat down at a craps table and started betting, it’d be pretty odd if one of us didn’t walk away a winner. That hardly changes the fact that the house always wins. I don’t think anyone here is arguing that a system that is designed to produce winners and losers doesn’t produce winners.

Based on the evidence presented by @emo_pinata, though, it’s pretty safe to say that poor kids who are allowed to enter lotteries to get into charter schools would be just as well off or better off if they could enter a lottery to get into a normal school that was run up to the standard of the schools of their wealthy neighbours. That is, if all schools were actually treated as important, if “no child left behind” hadn’t been a policy specifically dedicated to leaving children behind, then kids would be better off.

Of course people who won the “your kid gets to go to a decent school” lottery are thankful. What the hell kind of lottery is that to be running in a first world nation?


Montessori? Bob Ross?


How about anecdotal data and a “success story” while ignoring all the silent failures of the system?

May I also interest you in some “heh, liberals aren’t very liberal, they probably hate poors and trans persons” rhetoric?


But that’s not evidence, because of reasons.

May I interest you in another anecdote that may or may not be someone I actually know versus another “win story” I read off another internet forum?


Fair enough. It was offered in the same way one might assert that “there is zero evidence that ghosts exist,” but it would have been more constructive to ask for evidence, instead of merely asserting that it doesn’t exist.

Also, fair enough. But there are school districts all over the country which are already bankrupt due to corruption and mismanagement. Could Trump fuck them up even more? I don’t know how, but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t do it.

Uhm, yeah. By starving them even more. It’s pretty easy to turn a district from marginal to disaster when they are living on the edge. And he can starve districts that are working of students and funds by making vouchers a thing. To me, there is no question that Trump can and will make public schools worse off by creating a flaky, corruption prone, un-accountable system of private schools who will take the money and run. Look no further than the disaster of for profit vocational schools in the US that take government student loan money and turn it into massive profits without teaching their paying students skills that will actually land them the promised jobs.


Is this supposed to be “evidence” that charter schools are worse than public schools? You might as well post a video from Answers in Genesis to provide evidence for a global flood. If you have evidence, not comedy, that demonstrates that charter schools are generally worse than public schools, please provide it.

More Detroit public school principals have been charged with crimes in 2016 than all the charter school CEOs mentioned in that video. That’s just Detroit.

If you want to ask the reasonable question of whether abuses in charter schools cancel out all the good charter schools have done for kids and families, then you have to apply the same standard to public schools.

There’s not a single problem with charter schools in that John Oliver piece that isn’t a problem with public schools, on a much, much larger scale. And the specific problems with the charter schools exist because of how they’re allowed to operate in those particular districts.

Condemning the idea of charter schools because of bad actors is no different from condemning the idea of public schools because of bad actors.

That said, I’m going on vacation. Happy Holidays!

Vouchers have worked in Sweden for 25 years. I wouldn’t mind seeing small experiments here, because I think poor families deserve choices in education. I think your concerns about that turning into what the for-profit colleges turned into are valid. But that’s as much about competent regulation as it is about greed, which is rampant in both private and public sectors.

Public schools do this all the time. It’s why some of the very worst school districts in the country have the highest per-pupil spending rates in the world. Public entities are just as prone to corruption as private ones.

Okay, I’m going on vacation. Happy Holidays and stay skeptical!

As with healthcare, I don’t get the preference from some quarters for “choice in” over “access to good”.


You have to consider this in context. To what degree do you think Trump and his cabinet of kleptocratic cronies favor competent regulation? The GOP, including establishment types like Newt Gingrich, want the government torn down to make way for un-regulated capitalism. There is nothing about selecting Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education that suggests an interest in “competent regulation” of schools, private or public.


Are there a lot of public schools going out of business and closing mid-semester?


If aikimo has their way.