TEXT OF STORY
SCOTT JAGOW: Taxpayers spend $474 billion a year on K-12 education. A little more than a percent of that money goes to charter schools. Still the question’s being asked: Is the public getting its money’s worth? From the Marketplace Work and Family desk, here’s Hillary Wicai.
HILLARY WICAI: The National Center for Education Statistics, or NCES, says in 2003 fourth graders in traditional public schools scored better in reading and math than charter school students did.
Charter school advocates call the findings flawed and even the NCES says the stats have to taken with a grain of salt.
Mark Schneider is the NCES commissioner.
MARK SCHNEIDER: “One third of the charter schools that are in existence in the United States today were not in existence in 2003. So we were looking at a set of schools that was smaller and different than the set of schools in the world today.”
The students performed at about the same level.
In Washington, I’m Hillary Wicai for Marketplace.
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.
Give today and get our limited edition tote.