Do D. C. Charter Schools Meet Higher Standard?

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

The District of Columbia may be holding its charter schools up to a higher standard than it does its scandal-ridden traditional public schools, but the chartered institutions appear to be meeting the challenge. “The D.C. Public Charter School Board (PCSB) has closed more than 40 failing schools since 2007,” Emily Langhorne of the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) writes. “In 2017, D.C.’s 21 charter high schools graduated 73.4 percent of their students in four years.”

“Since the PCSB audits every graduating student’s transcript, that number is an accurate reflection of student achievement.”

Moreover, charter schools, belying the accusation of cherry picking that their opponents often level at them, seem to be serving at-risk students well too. “That number also includes two alternative high schools: one for students involved in the criminal justice system and another for ‘at-risk’ and overage students, Langhorne notes. “Knowing it will benefit students in the long term, charters often encourage students to stay for a fifth year if they aren’t ready to graduate in four.”

“In 2017, the sector’s five-year graduation rate was 78.8 percent.”