This one’s for the public school/charter school wonks, but it’s also an enlightening piece of information dug up by Little Rock School District lawyer Chris Heller on how the Walton-inspired education “reformers” up at the University of Arkansas massaged the numbers in attempting to show the Little Rock School District isn’t harmed by the state’s unlimited approval of open enrollment charter schools in Pulaski County.
A note from Heller and a document he dug up in an FOI of the “reformers” show that the charter schools are draining a big number of white students out of the magnet schools. These are the schools the state agreed to support in a federal court agreement as a means of stemming re-segregation in the district. This is particularly important at the middle school level. The UA researchers hid this critical piece of data in a report Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is now trumpeting as holy writ. Holy s*** is more like it.
The numbers are almost beside the point. You need only look at the clutch of predominantly white schools created in the county to understand these state-encouraged creations harm conventional public schools. If they were luring kids failed by their schools it would be one thing. Generally, they are not, based on scores of white kids enrolling in the majority white schools. If they were working hard to keep the tough kids it would be another thing. They are not. The tough cases are “counseled” back to conventional public schools.
Still. Academics suppressing data to improve the look of their report? Climategate, anyone? UPDATE: See UA response on the jump.