Cap on charter schools needs to be lifted

Jun 24, 2015 by

Chairs stand on tables in an empty classroom during a Germany-wide strikes of public sector workers at a school in Berlin

Breathtaking results from yet another study, and the announcement that three prominent Boston lawyers plan to mount a constitutional challenge to Massachusetts’ charter public school cap, have reignited the seemingly endless debate about charter schools’ place in the commonwealth’s education marketplace. Each time the battle is engaged, evidence of the opportunities charters provide to at-risk students is more overwhelming.

Only about 3 percent of Massachusetts public school students attend charters, which are the best-performing charter schools in the country. Those 30,000 children are outnumbered by the over 40,000 on waitlists to attend the schools. This is ample proof that charter schools are the latest articulation of humans’ desire to improve their lot in life and that of their children.

The most recent charter school study, from Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO), finds that academic growth among Boston charter school students is more than four times that of their traditional public school peers in English and more than six times greater in math. The study finds that charter school students outperform their district school counterparts across every sub-group, including African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, English language learners, low-income and special education students.

To ensure apples-to-apples comparisons, CREDO uses a “virtual twin” approach that matches charter students with Boston Public Schools students who look just like them and attend schools that have lost students to charter schools.

 

Source: southcoasttoday.com

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