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Setting the Record Straight on Detroit Charter Schools

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By Lindsey Burke / /at The Daily Signal

Lindsey M. Burke researches and writes on federal and state education issues as the Will Skillman fellow in education policy at The Heritage Foundation.

Detroit’s charter schools have produced measurably better student outcomes than the city’s traditional public schools. (Photo: iStock Photos)

The nomination of school choice supporter Betsy DeVos for the post of education secretary has reignited a lively debate over the impact of school choice and student-centered education financing.

One case in point is a piece by Douglas Harris, who last Friday took to the pages of the The New York Times.

In his piece, Harris singled out Detroit’s charter school initiative as “the biggest school reform disaster in the country.” Citing one “well-regarded study,” Harris argued that “Detroit’s charter schools performed at about the same dismal level as its traditional public schools.”

The study to which Harris was referring—a study on charter school performance in Michigan conducted by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO)—was actually far more positive toward the Detroit charter environment than the Times piece would have one believe.

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