Charter op-ed gets response
Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 08:50 AM
I am pleased that Dr. Helen Ladd of Duke University responded to my recent op-ed in the News & Observer. I have a lot of respect for Dr. Ladd and her superb record of research. She introduces a number of interesting arguments into the discussion.
She argues, "Implicit in his argument are the assumptions that charter schools are effective in raising student achievement." But my argument was about politics, not student achievement. Here is my thesis statement,
Education leaders and elected officials in North Carolina would rather appease special interest groups than follow President Barack Obama’s efforts to increase educational options for parents. We could have a productive debate about student achievement. For example, I would be interested in hearing Dr. Ladd's take on the recent CREDO report that concluded "the presence of caps puts significant downward pressure on student results."
But my op-ed recounts the special interest groups that cut the charter school reform off at the knees, as well as the irony of the state using a term like "charter-like schools without charters."
My guess is that the special interest groups that stifle charter school growth in North Carolina are not doing so because of Dr. Ladd's research. They do so because monopolies dislike competition. In the case of Race to the Top, they do so regardless of the direction of the Obama administration or the consequences for North Carolina's Race to the Top application.
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