Saturday, August 27, 2011

High Turnover in Charter Schools

*  Which type of schools provide better education for children--- charter or public????
We have the answer (although some of us already knew it).


Traditional public school districts continue to provide a vastly better education for students, according to report card data released today by the Ohio Department of Education. Efforts to strengthen accountability for the state's privately operated, publicly funded charter schools in the last few years have led to slightly improved performance by charter schools. While the change does not demonstrate a dramatic trend, the even slight advances due to increased accountability indicate that greater oversight benefits students, noted the Coalition for Public Education.

State report card data shows steady general improvement in traditional public school districts' ratings with slight improvements in charter schools.....

Public schools have more experienced, better educated teachers, as well as better facilities,  equipment, and materials/books.  Charter schools exist for the purpose of providing profits to their owners, while public schools exist to provide an education for all children.

Charter schools also have a large turnover rate for their teachers.  A research project by David A. Stuit and Thomas M. Smith has some interesting numbers.

  National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education

183. Teacher Turnover in Charter Schools. 2009.
Author: David A. Stuit and Thomas M. Smith

This study examines how teacher turnover differs between charter and traditional public schools and seeks to identify factors that explain these differences. Using data from the National Center for Education Statistics’ (NCES) 2003-2004 Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS) and Teacher Follow-Up Survey (TFS), we found that 25% of charter school teachers turned over during the 2003-2004 school year, compared to 14% of traditional public school teachers. Fourteen percent of charter school teachers left the profession outright and 11% moved to a different school, while 7% of traditional public school teachers left the profession and 7% moved schools. Using multi-nomial logistic regression, we found the odds of a charter school teacher leaving the profession versus staying in the same school are 132% greater than those of a traditional public school teacher. The odds of a charter school teacher moving schools are 76% greater. Our analysis confirms that much of the explanation of this “turnover gap” lies in differences in the types of teachers that charter schools and traditional public schools hire. The data lend minimal support to the claim that turnover is higher in charter schools because they are leveraging their flexibility in personnel policies to get rid of underperforming teachers. Rather, we found most of the turnover in charter schools is voluntary and dysfunctional as compared to that of traditional public schools.
Click here to view publication as a PDF

This is also a key to why students in public schools perform better than those in charter schools.  With less teacher turnover in public schools, students are provided with a stable learning atmosphere, with teachers that have used and know the curriculum,  are familiar with school rules and expectations, and have several years of experience in the teaching profession. Experienced teachers can provide better student performance.  (Note:  Under Kasich/GOP plan called SB 5, teacher tenure would have no influence when layoffs occur.  SB 5 would allow principals to dismiss highly qualified, experienced teachers in an effort to cut costs.)