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Wednesday, 23 August 2006 05:26

Bush Admin Disavows Own Study Showing Charter Schools Score Worse than Public Schools. Who Needs Facts When You Have an Agenda?

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Students at charter schools performed significantly worse than students at traditional public schools, according to a study released yesterday by the Department of Education. The research was based on results from the "nation's report card" - the National Assessment of Educational Progress test.

"After adjusting for student characteristics, charter school mean scores in reading and mathematics were lower, on average, than those for public noncharter schools," the study concluded.

Republicans have been strong proponents of charter schools, which they made sure to promote through the ironically titled No Child Left Behind Act. Sure enough, the Bush Administration was quick to criticize its own study in a statement yesterday, in which Education Secretary Margaret Spellings continued to express her support for the now debunked theory that charter schools are better than public schools.

The repudiation of the study is especially suspect given the Administration's insistence on using frequent testing to evaluate schools, a staple of No Child Left Behind. "If you teach a child how to read, they will pass the test," Bush said recently. "Accountability is crucial, in my judgment, for making sure the public school system meets the important goals of our society."

This certainly isn't the only example of Bush refusing to face facts and move on. From Iraq to Medicare, his policies simply don't work. When will he learn that "staying the course" won't help if you are heading in the wrong direction?