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Alan Singer did not like the editorial in the New York Times declaring that certain charters with high test scores should be allowed to hire uncertified teachers.
If only they read the news stories in their own newspaper, he writes, they would have known better.
“Do the editors of the New York Times read their own newspaper? The opening line of their pro-charter school editorial offered faint praise for charter schools. Apparently, “New York City is one of the rare places in the country where charter schools generally have made good on the promise to outperform conventional public schools.” If the statement is true that New York City charter schools “generally” outperform conventional public schools, what about the rest of the charter school industry in the United States?
“According to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, “In 2016-17, there are more than 6,900 charter schools, enrolling an estimated 3.1 million students.” In New York City there are only 227 charter schools that enroll a little over 100,000 students. That means 97% of charter schools in the country and 97% of the children attending charter schools are outside New York City and many do underperform. In Michigan, 70% of the charter schools score in the bottom half of the state’s school rankings. As a result of “charterization,” Michigan declined from being an average performing state on math and reading tests to one of the worst. These do not seem like a reason to endorse an expansion of charter schools in New York City or to advocate for removing regulations from the existing schools.
“I visited two excellent New York City charter secondary schools, one in Queens and one in Brooklyn. Neither is part of a “not-for-profit” charter school network or a private for-profit charter school company. Part of what makes them good schools is that they function just like regular public schools, educating diverse young people without making exaggerated claims for student performance or lobbying state officials for extra privileges and waivers.”