NOTE: The Thomas B. Fordham Institute occasionally publishes guest commentaries on its blogs. The views expressed by guest authors do not necessarily reflect those of Fordham.
During the raging debate in recent years about whether Kentucky would join America’s education civilization by allowing charter schools, Ohio’s dismal charter performance became a favorite whipping boy of school-choice opponents.
Less than three years ago, the headline atop a 1,000-word exposé in The Washington Post on the Buckeye State’s charter schools read: “Troubled Ohio charter schools have become a joke -- literally.”
Ohio’s bad charter schools provided piles of fodder for Kentucky’s anti-choice zealots committed to keeping these schools out of the Bluegrass State.
Worse is that Ohio’s failures gave charter-school opponents nationwide a convenient ploy to divert attention away from the decades-long academic failure of many school districts in other states, including Kentucky’s largest in Jefferson County, where parents would leap at the opportunity of enrolling their children in charters – if only they had it.
However, as an old Bob Dylan hit heralds: “The Times They Are A-Changin’.”
Confirmation of the truth in Dylan’s lyrics is found in the newly released National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results showing dramatic improvement...