Is the Charter School Movement Shutting out the Poorest American Children?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Education officials in some major cities are embracing charter schools as the answer to poor-performing public schools. But the rush to convert public schools to charter ones has threatened to undermine the educations of minority students, as well as those with disabilities.


A study by the nonprofit Broader, Bolder Approach to Education found the use of charter schools in Chicago, Washington, DC, and New York has not proven successful “for the most vulnerable children,” according to Kristin Rawls at AlterNet.


Rawls writes that “charter schools may be discriminating,” citing a 2012 report from the Government Accountability Office that found charter schools enrolled fewer students with disabilities, compared to those at public schools.


There is also evidence that charter schools may not be achieving racial equality or helping low-income students.


When school districts in Chicago, DC and New York shut down public schools and replaced them with charter schools, race- and class-based achievement gaps went up, based on data from the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education study.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Punishing Students For Not Making Eye Contact? How Charter Schools' Prejudiced Policies Undermine Equality (by Kristin Rawls, AlterNet)

Market-Oriented Education Reforms’ Rhetoric Trumps Reality (by Elaine Weiss and Don Long, Broader Bolder Approach to Education) (pdf)

Billionaires are Bankrolling “Populist” Public Education “Reform” (by Ken Broder, AllGov)


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