In a recent San Antonio Express New article outgoing Texas SBOE member Michael Soto stated :
There’s pretty solid support for efforts to raise the bar academically on the board and throughout the state because these charter applications significantly raise the academic bar.
Dr. Soto, I am disappointed.
In response, Diane Ravitch stated on her blog (as quoted by SAEN online):
Charter schools would have a valued place in America education if they served the neediest children and recruited students of have dropped out, Ravitch wrote in a recent blog. But in the current context, they have been turned into a battering ram to compete with public schools and skim the ablest students,” she said. “Are we reverting to the dual system in American education that existed pre-1954? Will there be charter schools in gated communities to keep out the others? And charter schools to skim off the cream in poor communities? And impoverished public schools, overwhelmed by the students with the greatest needs?
As Professor Ed Fuller has already demonstrated, charter schools in Texas are creaming higher-achieving students across the state. My own research has found that they have triple the school leaver rates amongst African Americans. (I discussed here and here). As Ravitch alludes, charters are also often not very interested in serving special needs students.
As discussed on Cloaking Inequity earlier, the Stanford CREEDO study showed that 83% of charter schools across the entire nation don’t perform better than our traditional public schools. So where exactly has the bar been raised?
Dr. Soto, I am disappointed. Data should get in the way of ideology.
For Cloaking Inequity’s full thread of posts on Charters click here.