A charter school is required to meet the specific objectives set out in its charter — the ends — and in exchange the state gives it greater flexibility in its approach — the means — therefore, unlike traditional public schools, charter school principals can more easily hire, reward, penalize, and fire staff as well as assert greater control over the school curriculum.
In other words, charter schools operate more like a business whereas traditional schools operate more like a bureaucracy.
What type do you think performs better?
Common sense gives you one answer; common cause may give you another.
If you Google the answer then the top research papers and news articles will tell you that charter schools perform equal to traditional schools. End of story, right? After all, who would know better about education than the social scientists who work in it? We’re supposed to trust the science so surely if they were to be manipulative here then this would call into question all their other conclusions where they’re likely to have much less data at their disposal.
What shall it be?
Let’s begin by getting into icky partisan politics. How much easier life would be if everything was relative. We could shrug and say, “Both sides have a point,” which may win you applause or at worst not lose you many friends. If however you believed in truth with a solid worldview where you had a clear understanding of your priorities then you couldn’t shift like Jello whenever the truth tries to pin you down. Keep your mind murky enough and you can go the rest of your days being popular in the tribe you just so happened to be born into.
Education is thee most important political issue in a democracy. Priority #1.
The Teachers' Unions donate more to political campaigns than any other organization or corporation for which 95% of it goes to the Democratic Party. The US spends more money per student than virtually any country on Earth at $15K per student per year — $25K in my state — so that by the time the average kid graduates high school they can barely read…