Thursday, March 02, 2006

Opinionated Blogger Eats Her Words

O.K., I admit it. I’ve never really been a proponent of charter schools. Arguing that charter schools gave white middle-class parents an option that poor black parents might not be able to take advantage of. That charter schools simply eroded neighborhood public schools even more as dollars went to charter schools in the suburbs.

So now I have to eat my words. On February 27, The Center for Education Reform announced, based on 2005 survey results, that charter schools are serving more at-risk children than district schools.

You can find the full report from the CER at§ionID=34&NEWSYEAR=2006

And an article in this morning’s Wall Street Journal confirms the black exodus to charter schools. In Minneapolis, for example, charter school enrollment is 91 percent minority and 84 percent low income.  

And other reports indicate that charter schools aren’t simply serving more at-risk kids but that they’re doing a better job of it than district schools.

For example, take a look at what’s going on with Mosaica Education, which operates 70 charter schools, mostly in inner-city neighborhoods. According to West Ed (a non-profit research agency), Mosaica Education sees the average student exceed their expected academic growth by over 17 percent. On average, students enrolling in a Mosaica school are behind at least 1.5 in grade level.  

Read about Mosaica schools at

Maybe Louis King, a black leader who served on the Minneapolis School Board, is right when he tells district schools to get their act together or we’ll be seeing them in museums next to the dinosaurs.

I hope not.

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