I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Uh-Oh--What Happens When the Data Does Not Support a Desired Outcome?

In Boston Massachusetts, a recent study was completed by researcers from Harvard and MIT, comparing traditional schools' performance with Charter Schools and "Pilot Schools".

(Pilot Schools are an attempt by the Boston School District to replicate the innovative strategies that charter schools have utilized to succeed in some of the most challenging inner-city areas. Unlike charter schools, Pilot Schools are staffed with Union Teachers and unlike charter schools, pilot schools are managed by The Boston School District.)

Everyone, including Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick, was eagerly awaiting the release of the data, hoping to prove that union staffed, district run "pilot schools" could achieve at the level of charters.....

The result----Union operated,district controlled Pilot Schools scored well below charter schools, AND below the level of even the traditional Boston Schools. Oops--time to commission another study!

from the Boston Globe:

"The study, being released today at a Boston Foundation forum, examined state standardized test scores for students of similar backgrounds at the three kinds of schools over a four-year period. In the most stark example, charters - independent public schools dedicated to innovative teaching - excelled significantly in middle school math. However, pilots, which have similar goals but are run by the School Department, performed at slightly lower rates than traditional schools, according to the study.
The findings could present a setback for Governor Deval Patrick's education overhaul, which seeks to emulate pilot schools around the state while resisting calls for more charter schools."

Full article here:

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