When talking about charter schools, it often feels like there's no such thing as common ground.
Here in New York City, the topic has pitted our mayor against our governor, and we've watched as advocates from either side duke it out in the press. The Twitter feed for this week's #CharterSchoolsWeek also provides a glimpse into the adversarial rhetoric from both sides regarding the issue.
At the same time, public opinion on charter schools seems both unstable and inconsistent. This instability creates something of a vacuum where adversarial rhetoric thrives and polarization worsens.
To help reverse this downward spiral, this week Public Agenda and the Spencer Foundation released a set of materials we hope will help communities get beyond ideology and polarization so they can make the practical decisions they need to make to improve educational opportunities for all kids.
- Have a question about charter schools and want to see if there's trustworthy research out there to answer it? You can turn to "Charter Schools In Perspective: A Guide to Research." In this thorough and accessibly-written analysis, we synthesize and summarize current research on charter schools, including academic research often out of reach behind paywalls. Topics include student achievement, finance, governance, innovation and public opinion.
- Local officials should check out "Ten Questions for Policymakers," a set of questions that will help them think through decisions about charter schools in their jurisdictions.
- Local and national journalists can access questions and ideas for stories about charter schools in their regions and nationwide from "Ten Questions for Journalists."
- If you want to hold a dialogue in your community to explore options for school improvement, "Are Charter Schools a Good Way to Improve Education in Our Community?" helps communities hold civil, productive dialogue on doing so. The guide is also a great resource if you're interested in learning more about the benefits and trade-offs of different perspectives on charter schools and improving schools.
Public Agenda doesn't take positions on contemporary controversies about education, and neither does the Spencer Foundation. We believe that more informed, thoughtful deliberation about issues related to what kinds of schools communities should create is in the best interest of communities, parents and children.
Help us spread the word about Charter Schools In Perspective! Share the resource on social media with #InPerspective, or feel free to use the tweets below. If you're interested in learning more about how to use the materials in your community, contact us today.
Tweets You Can Use:
New nonideological resources on #charterschools, from @PublicAgenda & Spencer Foundation: http://ow.ly/Mv8aP #InPerspective
Have a better conversation about #charterschools: http://ow.ly/Mv8aP #InPerspective from @PublicAgenda & Spencer Foundation
Polarization on #charterschools makes practical solutions to school improvement difficult. Get beyond polarization: http://ow.ly/Mv8aP
Support a more productive dialogue about #charterschools: http://ow.ly/Mv8aP#InPerspective from @PublicAgenda & Spencer Foundation
#InPerspective can help change the convo on #charterschools - @wkfriedman of @PublicAgenda http://ow.ly/Mv8aP