Washington State: Charters Fail to Make a Difference

Diane Ravitch's blog

Poor Bill Gates. He has poured billions into reinventing education, and nothing has worked. Nothing! Not even in his home state.

One of his fondest desires was to open charter schools in Washington State. He poured millions into a referendum (the fourth in the state), and it barely passed. Then the highest court in the state said the charters couldn’t be supported by the general fund, because they are not really public schools. Public schools have elected boards. At last, he gently persuaded the legislature to tap into the lottery money to pay for Bill’s charters.

But, as Carol Burris writes, the charters did not outperform public schools and did not close achievement gaps.

Oh, woe. Poor Bill!

Burris writes:

“The 2012 initiative was Washington State’s fourth charter school ballot initiative. The previous three attempts failed — in 1996 (64.43 percent opposed to 35.57 percent in favor), 2000…

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