N.Y. columnist says charter school success rate should not be ignored

Aug 20, 2013 by

NEW YORK  – The numbers don’t lie.

New York City’s Success Academy charter schools and Harlem Educational Activities Fund, both of which educate mostly poor children from crime-infested neighborhoods, are helping disadvantaged students accomplish great things, according to New York Daily News columnist Stanley Crouch.

At Success Academies, “82 percent of scholars there passed math, putting it in the top 1 percent of all schools in the state. In English Language Arts, 58 percent passed, in the top 7 percent. In science, 100 percent passed,” Crouch wrote in a recent editorial.

“And for HEAF: 100 percent of their 2013 class graduated high school. One-hundred percent of their 2012 graduating class returned to college for their sophomore year. Thirty-five percent of their students went on to graduate studies in law, medicine and other disciplines. That’s three times the national average,” he wrote.

Crouch contends those successes can be replicated, but it will require those in power to acknowledge what charter schools are accomplishing and championing more of them. He says teachers unions have perpetuated myths about what students can accomplish and exert their vast political powers to intimidate lawmakers into opposing charter schools.

“It’s not enough to support choice, but we need to discuss what really works. Neither so-called progressives nor hard-core conservatives have actually addressed what has worked in this town – what has been done and is available to be expanded,” Crouch opined in the Daily News.

“They may not get it – or may not be willing to say it if they do – because they have been cowed by the zeal of teachers unions that fight for power as quickly as they can whenever faced with a challenge to their effectiveness,” Crouch wrote.

The columnist explains that teachers unions prefer to focus instead on “emotion and sociological jargon,” and focus solely on increasing spending as the solution for all problems in education.

Crouch summarized the union perspective: “If the children come from poor or crime-ridden circumstances, you should not fault the teacher for them not teaching them well. Teachers might work hard, but are not God.”

“Hogwash,” he wrote in response.

The numbers don’t lie. Success Academies and HEAF are defying the union’s twisted logic.

“These aren’t numbers from the upper East Side or some suburban community,” Crouch wrote. “These are from Harlem and the Bronx and are available to be disputed, if one can.

“Read those numbers and weep, victims of the unions. When the public learns that this kind of success is actually possible, maybe our political leaders will be next.”

N.Y. columnist says charter school success rate should not be ignored – EAGnews.org powered by Education Action Group Foundation, Inc..

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