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One School System For Us And One For Them

A new report, which the government has kept secret since it was completed in November 2003, says that replacing failing inner city schools with privately run "academies" will create a two-tiered educational system based on social class. The research by PriceWaterhouseCoopers also says that it is unlikely that the program will "improve standards and encourage innovative teaching and learning".

It [the report] warned that the growth of academies and the introduction of a "quasi-market" in education could create a two-tier system. "There are significant concerns in the research literature about the extent to which quasi-markets can contribute to the development of a two-tier system which results in an increase in stratification of students by social class."

The report was prepared for the British government.

The researchers, however, included information about American charter schools.

The report looked at "charter" schools in the US which they said offered a "close parallel to academies in the UK" and found that improvements and innovation in teaching and learning had been "modest".

But this research was done by foreigners, so it doesn’t matter to Americans.

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2 Comments

  1. Great find, Tim. Most have more or less accepted the charter system here in Arizona, but serious accountability issues remain. One of the Leona Group’s charters, Sun Valley High (and Jr High), is infamous in education circles for being a “credit mill.” Recently, Heritage Academy in Mesa was found to be “cerry-picking” their student population. Little wonder they boast above average scores on the state test.

    Most of the successful charters work with the more affluent suburban populations (Scottsdale, Tempe, Gilbert, etc.) I don’t know of many successful efforts in south Phoenix or on any of the reservations.

  2. It seems logical that anytime you create a better alternative to a disastrous situation, you will have two tiers: the better alternative and the remaining disastrous situation.

    There are two ways to avoid two tiers: Keep moving the entire disastrous situation to the better alternative or keep the entire disastrous situation intact to preserve one tier.

    The latter approach reminds me of an egalitarian system where everybody is kept poor. If you can’t have equality of prosperity then at least you can have equality of poverty.

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