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Column 'wrongly interpreted' comments

Posted: September 23, 2012 - 12:01am

Editor:

Barry L. Paschal wrongly interpreted my failure to mention research specifically on Georgia charter schools in my positive review of high quality charter studies (column, Sept. 12, “Cut off nose, spite schools”).

I did not mention any Georgia-specific studies because there are no high-quality random-assignment studies in Georgia, but there are from elsewhere. And since we have no reason to believe that Georgia charter schools are fundamentally different than those elsewhere, the positive results from those high quality studies should apply to Georgia as well.

The whole point of my essay was that we need to focus on the high-quality random-assignment research when assessing the effects of charters. Paschal references a study about Georgia charter schools without concern for whether it is random-assignment or not.

I assume that Mr. Paschal would not be persuaded by late-night commercials for products claiming to regrow his hair or provide “male enhancement,” and instead would insist on the kind of random-assignment evidence required by the FDA. I’m not sure why he wouldn’t apply the same standard to charter research.

Jay P. Greene

Fayetteville, Ark.

(Jay P. Greene is the department head and 21st Century chair in education reform for the University of Arkansas.)

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