If the U.S. Education Department had its way you would have missed it. Except, well, it made the front page of the New York Times in today’s Denver edition. On Friday, without any comment from Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, or any news conference, the department released a study showing that children in public schools generally did as well or better in reading and mathematics than comparable children in private schools. The report also found that conservative Christian schools lagged significantly behind public schools on eighth-grade math.
Two Colorado charter school representatives sit on the committee overseeing the project that produced the Education Department’s report. Rep. Keith King (R-Colorado Springs), recently fought successfully to include and extra $2.8 million for chart-school construction in the budget, reported the Denver Post. King sits on the board of the Colorado League of Charter Schools, a nonprofit whose mission includes advocating for charter schools by “maintaining a presence in the political realm.” Amanda Avallone, who also sits on the committee, serves as assistant principal and an eighth grade teacher at Summitt Middle School, a charter school in Boulder.The Education Department’s study was done by the Educational Testing Service, under contract with the National Center for Education Statistics.