Myth 5: Traditional Public Schools will be Forced to shut down Because they can’t Compete with Open Enrollment Charter Schools

When a charter school opens in the vicinity of a traditional public school, some people fear that the decreased enrollment caused by students transferring will cause the traditional public schools to shut down. When a public school shuts down, children are assigned to other schools, which they and their parents may or may not like. […]

Myth 4: Open Enrollment Charter Schools Receive more Public Funding than Traditional Public Schools

The public school system in Arkansas is funded with taxpayers’ money. Over the years, the amount of money that the state allocates per student has been rising, with the hope that the additional resources provided by more funding will improve students’ performance. What have taxpayers bought with these additional funds? Figure 1 shows the trends […]

Myth 3: Open Enrollment Charter Schools Hire Underqualified Teachers

Opponents criticize open enrollment charter schools for employing “underqualified” teachers. The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) defines a highly qualified teacher as one who is licensed, demonstrates subject-matter competence by passing a content knowledge test, and holds at least a bachelor’s degree in the subject that he or she will teach. In contrast to traditional […]

Myth 2: Education Outcomes at Open Enrollment Charter Schools are Worse than Those at Traditional Public Schools

No Arkansas parent wants their child to attend a failing school. Proponents of school choice argue that open enrollment charter schools—an alternative to traditional public schools—improve the performance of the students they enroll. Opponents argue that open enrollment charter schools erode the quality of education and hurt the performance of the students that they enroll. […]

Myth 1: Open Enrollment Charter Schools Don’t Enroll Many Black or Hispanic Students

Arkansas has a history of severe racial problems in its K–12 schools. A case in point is the infamous 1957 Little Rock Nine case, in which a group of nine African American students were denied enrollment at the all-white Central High public school. Over the years, laws have been enacted to ensure that public schools […]

Dispelling Myths About Open Enrollment Charter Schools in Arkansas

By Dr. Mavuto Kalulu Arkansas offers two types of public charter schools for students seeking an alternative to traditional public schools. Conversion charter schools, first authorized in 1995, are public schools that are converted to charter schools. They have more autonomy than traditional public schools while still remaining under the school district’s control. Only students residing […]

Can We Simply Raise the Bar on Teacher Quality?

By Dr. Mavuto Kalulu Academic research shows that teacher effectiveness plays a critical role in student learning. One study (Hanushek, 2011) shows that the difference between an effective teacher and an ineffective one can be as much as a year’s worth of learning. In order to ensure the quality of teachers, states require teachers to pass qualifying exams, […]

More to Choose: School Choice and Friedman’s Vision

By Dr. Mavuto Kalulu Today, the Arkansas school choice menu includes district transfers, charter school options, and home schooling. Beginning this fall, the menu has been expanded to include a limited voucher program that will only be served to special needs children. While this menu may satisfy some, there are unnecessary limits. For starters, these […]

Charter School Myths and Facts

By Mavuto Kalulu Many people have misconceptions about charter schools, the parents that choose them, and the children that attend them. Below are just a few of the common charter school myths along with the facts and sources that address them. Myth: Charter schools perform worse than traditional public schools Fact: Open-enrollment charter schools perform […]

Understanding Why Firms Hire: Minimum Wage Debate

Highly profitable companies pay some of their workers only the minimum wage. Some politicians and activists, along with the President, want to raise this wage. Arguing that it is unfair for workers to make so little, the President wants to raise the minimum wage for all workers to $10.10. Unfortunately, the President doesn’t understand how […]