Two steps back

When a major aspect of your mission is to promote the potential benefits of charter schools and corporate education reform ideas, having to write an accountability report titled "Two steps forward, one step back" was likely a painful prospect. But that is the title of the Fordham Foundation's annual report.

As we detailed in our highly read series "Fordham Exposed" (part I, part II), Fordham sponsored charters have not performed well.

With the results being difficult to spin, especially with the added scrutiny corporate education reformers are now starting to receive, Fordham's report decided to make their results appear more robust via comparison to other large charter sponsors.

By creating a graph that put Fordham at the top of the pile however, it demonstrates how poorly the other large authorizers are performing. If Fordham has taken one step back, their peers have taken two, or even three.

A significant part of the education reform debate revolves around the cost of delivering a high quality, universal education. So it is disappointing to note that Fordham's report does not address the cost of the results they have produced. One can only surmise, by the decision to omit this data, that those results are not flattering either. We would call upon the Fordham Foundation to publish cost data in its annual reports going forward.

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: Fordham’s 2010-11 Sponsorship Accountability Report