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My Concerns About Charters


I’ve previously written about the concerns I have about charter schools (see Charter Schools and Creaming). I can certainly see their value in some circumstances, especially where districts are not being responsive to the needs of local communities. But they are often oversold by some as THE key way to improve schools.

The New York Times Magazine ran an article today titled The Teachers’ Unions Last Stand that — in my mind, at least — had a number of inaccuracies. One of them was an inaccurate comparison of a “regular” public school and a charter school that was described as having the same kind of student population, but the charter students far exceeded the other students in academic achievement.

The Answer Sheet, a Washington Post blog, provides the real story — in other words, the accurate one. After reading the analysis of the student population of the two schools in The Post, you’ll understand my concerns about charters “creaming” the students who are most likely to succeed academically and leaving those facing the most challenges in regular schools.

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.


  1. I wrote a similar comment on the NYTimes article a few days back. Charter schools like nothing more than to compare themselves to neighboring public schools and in doing so completely ignore the socioeconomic and academic realities of the student body.

    A friend of mine once said about public school, “Once you take out the kids whose parents care about education, you’re left with kids whose parents don’t care.”

  2. This is really interesting Larry. We have a new government here in the UK who are very keen on our version of charter schools – I’m not convinced they are the answer.

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