Tuesday, December 12, 2006

NYSUT: Big Freaking Macho Gorilla

Not only do the highly-paid bosses at NYSUT think it is their business to select the schools your children attend, now they seem to think it is their business to select which schools should have their test scores compared to charter schools.

So, if they are doing a study that compares charter schools to public schools, just because they are the big freaking macho gorilla in the statehouse they get to discard bad public schools that will skew the results? Cherry-pick the comparison schools to give them the results they want, so that Dick Ianuzzi can arrogantly claim "the numbers don't lie"????

From Peter Murphy's op-ed in the Post:

It rigged its study by comparing each charter school against a single, cherry-picked district school. Yes, the rates of student poverty were similar, but NYSUT ignored the many other district schools that performed below those same charter schools.

In other words, the study does not show that most charters are no better on average than regular public schools, but simply that most districts with a charter have at least one "traditional school" that's at least as good as the charter.

This whole idea of controlling these types of studies so that demographic differences can be accounted for is a fair/important point. But notice the difference between a relatively thoughtful look, where the critics scratch away at the facts in order to get to the truth, and the NYSUT method, where they scratch away at the truth in order to create their own convenient facts.

IDEA FOR CHARTER CHUCK: Have your students send bananas to your local legislators this week so they can feed the NYSUT lobbyists when they come in to bully them around.

UPDATE DOOZIE: Alert reader notes that the "comparable" public school that NYSUT chose to compare with Bronx Prep Charter school is Mott Hall, another one of those elite public schools that has selective admissions standards, i.e. you've got to test/interview well in order to even have a chance at getting in. Bronx Prep Charter, by law, has to take all-comers through a lottery, while the NYSUT public school gets to select from among the best applicants... Is it possible that this guy is the one NYSUT got to write this baby up? Big old Bronx cheer!

UPDATE II: Here is a link if you want to arm your friendly neighborhood legislator with the tools they need to make it through this week's special session in one piece.

UPDATE III: Some updates on this issue here and especially here. (Running out of room on this post.)

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