Charter Schools: The Issue is Not Student Scores on High-Stakes Standardized Tests Produced by Big Business

Charter school supporters and promoters have long been severely obsessed with comparing charter school and public school students’ scores on expensive curriculum-narrowing high-stakes standardized tests produced by big corporations. They fetishize test scores and believe such scores are useful and meaningful in some way, despite what extensive evidence has shown for decades.

One reason charter school supporters and promoters dogmatically fixate on pedagogically meaningless test scores is because they do not want to draw any attention to the real underlying problem with charter schools, which is that they are privatized, marketized, corporatized, deregulated, deunionized, non-transparent, pro-competition, political-economic arrangements that siphon billions of public dollars from public schools every year and make rich people even richer while drowning in fraud, corruption, waste, arrests, scandal, and racketeering.

Nonprofit and for-profit charter schools are contract schools that operate outside the public sphere and benefit mainly major owners of capital, even though they are portrayed as a way to “empower parents.” Test scores do not change this. Whether students’ scores on unsound tests produced by for-profit companies are high or low, it does not make the looting of billions of dollars in public funds by charter schools from public schools acceptable. Test scores cannot cover up this large-scale theft and destruction. Scores on tests not produced by…

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