Are Charter Schools Working?

, Kallina Crompton, Leave a comment

charter school dc photoCharter schools are becoming a huge piece of the market in some of America’s most troubled cities. In 2013, 93% of New Orleans students, 54% of Detroit students, and 44% of DC students enrolled in charter schools.  As the enrollment increases, more people have questioned the effectiveness of the new educational system.

The US went from having fewer than 2,000 charter schools to having over 2 million in ten years. The 51% poverty rate among public schools has many proponents and opponents questioning:  what other options do we have to help public school students reach their potential?

At the 2016 Atlantic Education Summit, Former President of the Fordham Institute Chester Finn and President of the American Federation of Teachers Randi Weingarten traded spaces to discuss the pros and cons of Charter schools.

“We are keeping way too many kids trapped in bad schools and not giving them better alternatives,” added Chester Finn.

Nevertheless, Finn admitted that “the charter school movement is so mixed … some of them work, some of them do not work.”

Studies show that charter schools in some jurisdictions like DC are outperforming public schools, while some are underperforming in other areas such as Nevada.

“When public schools do not do what they need to do, we need to have alternatives to ensure that children will get the education that they deserve,” said Weingarten. She argued that “What is wrong, is that if we as a charter movement actually believe that we are supplanting public education, then we are actually not believing in excellence and equity; and that, at the end of the day, is the biggest problem.”

Photo by SpeakerBoehner

Photo by SpeakerBoehner