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[Susan notes: Gerald Bracey gives us a great medical metaphor: Would the FDA approve a drug that has harmful effects twice as often as it has positive effects? ]

Submitted to Washington Post but not published

To the editor

Ruth Marcus lauds President Obama and Secretary Duncan for promoting charter schools. But why? Study after study has found that they do no better or do worse than comparable public schools.

The most recent of these studies came from Margaret Raymond at Stanford, who, in the past, has been a charter supporter. However, Raymond's study found that only 17% of charters outperformed comparable public schools, 36% performed worse and 47% showed no difference.

Why Duncan would insist that states life charter caps to pursue a reform that rarely works is most puzzling. Would the FDA approve a drug that has harmful effects twice as often as it has positive effects? Is it just union busting? Is there a corporate takeover agenda lurking behind the push? I don't know but the effort makes no sense. To me it looks like bullying by the feds, pure and simple.

Gerald Bracey

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