Charter Schools, Dropout, and At-Risk Students

An “oldie, but a goodie” article from the New York Times about charter schools and at-risk students.

An excerpt:

… Julian Vasquez Heilig, a professor at the University of Texas College of Education who studies how incentive systems affect student achievement, said his research had found a higher dropout rate for all charters — not just those that focus on dropout recovery — when compared with their peer districts. He said he strongly opposes what he viewed as a weakening of accountability standards for those schools.

“The thing is that districts deal with dropouts too, and so you would think that charter schools would be able to stack up against traditional districts when it comes to dropout rates,” he said. “If they are going to compete against public schools for public dollars, then they should meet the same standards.”

He also worries that the measure could make it easier for dropout recovery charters to become “holding bins” for traditional school districts to dump their problem students. “You off-load the kids into these charters, and then they disappear into oblivion,” he said.

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