The Case of the Missing College Graduates

Grab your magnifying glass, reader, and a heaping helping of fingerprint powder too—we’re going sleuthing. College graduates are the object of today’s inquiry, specifically students who, after attending urban academies of excellence and innovation, go on to attend college at STAGGERING numbers, yet disappear completely when it is time for that beloved tradition: the data round up. While it is an indisputable true fact that students who attend charter schools graduate from college and find outstanding 21st century jobs at rates that shame and embarrass their peers at Low Expectations High, you might be surprised to learn that there is exactly no research documenting that true fact. Well, there is one study. A 2011 report by KIPP Academy found that a mere 30 % of students graduating from KIPP schools actually graduate from college. Continue reading →

For Charter Cheerleader, Some Inconvenient Truths

The Pioneer Institute’s Jim Stergios has emerged as the Bay State’s most emphatic charter cheerleader. But his ardor for charters is based less on fact than on wishful thinking and an ideological crusade.

The “Katrina moment” is a fave expression of the self-appointed education reform crowd. After all, who can forget  the dramatic images of  NOLA residents on rooftops after the hurricane struck, desperately trying to summon rescue personnel Teach for America? But how tone deaf do you have to be to refer excitedly to an urban school district’s “Katrina moment” while a hurricane is actually bearing down on New Orleans?

Meet Massachusetts’ very own Jim Stergios, head of the Pioneer Institute turned chief charter booster. Doctor Stergios, whose “column” appears regularly on Boston.com, has long had nothing but love for charters, but since the state took over the Lawrence schools the doc’s crush has became a full-fledged case of charter fever. Continue reading →