This from Morning Education (via email):
http://bit.ly/1urufN8 ] showing charter students in the state are falling far behind their peers on measures of math and reading. CREDO director Margaret Raymond followed up with a talk at the City Club of Cleveland, where she surprised many listeners by saying she'd come to believe that free-market competition doesn't work in education - at least, not without strong oversight and regulation. Many charter and voucher advocates contend that the free market is the best accountability system around, since parents can "vote with their feet" and withdraw their students if they're not satisfied with a school's performance.
But Raymond said in the real world, that just doesn't work.
"I've studied competitive markets for much of my career," she said. "... And [education] is the only industry/sector where the market mechanism just doesn't work. I think it's not helpful to expect parents to be the agents of quality assurance throughout the state."
Raymond said it's crucial for policy makers to actively assess both charter schools and charter authorizers and hold them accountable. The bottom line: "We need to have a greater degree of oversight of charter schools," she said. A podcast of her remarks (The free-market analysis starts around 50 minutes in.): http://bit.ly/1qAsm4k
In a bid to improve charter school governance, the nonprofit Charter Board Partners recently launched an online toolkit, including webinars, to train charter school board members to exercise better governance. For more: http://bit.ly/1urCmcl