Monday, May 26, 2008

Jay Mathews Reviews Keeping the Promise

Journalists, particularly me, tend to get excited about charter schools, the independently run public schools that have produced -- at least in some cases -- major improvements in achievement for children from low-income families. The charter educators I write about are often young, energetic, witty, noble and pretty much irresistible. But their charter schools, which use tax dollars with little oversight, are relatively new and untried. Like all experiments, they could easily fizzle.
He continues:
But the book's overall message is that charters are not what the happy stories in the media make them seem, and there should be better ways to improve learning. Many people agree with that thesis. But the book failed to make the case for me because it offered no compelling or widely available alternatives for the young educators I know who want to save this generation of poorly schooled kids right now.