The irony of a recent report from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is that it purports to “separate fact from fiction” about charter schools. Unfortunately, in addressing 21 “myths,” it embraces fiction whenever useful to push advocacy goals, thus perpetuating its own myths and fictions about charter schools. Since it relies overwhelmingly on other advocacy documents, it does not give a balanced or thorough examination of any of the 21 “myths.” But the exercise provides a useful opportunity for this review to walk through the various claims and succinctly address each. Among the areas addressed are the financial equality of charter schools, lower teacher qualifications, student selection demographics, academic outcomes, segregation, and innovation. While the NAPCS report itself may provide only sound-bite fodder for advocates, we hope that the two documents combined—report plus review—offer an overview of issues that does advance comprehensive understanding.
Please note: This review was replaced on March 3, 2015, due to a substantive change in the content of Endnote 24, which is described in the endnote itself.