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Why do graduation rates and test scores seem to soar at charter schools? We have stated on this blog, as has been stated elsewhere, that these charter schools counsel students out of their schools or expel them for whatever reason that they have deemed necessary. Remember, charter schools can have their own set of rules outside the regulations of a state, city or school district, and the parents have to sign on to those qualifications. Ed reformers will say it’s freedom from regulations, I say it’s freedom for a charter school to do what they want to keep their stats looking good enough to get more students and therefore district and Title 1 money and to keep their charters with the state. It’s freedom from the rights and protections that students and their families normally enjoy as being part of a public school system.
At the end of this post, I will list some articles and studies that provide more detailed information on this phenomenon.
The next time a Stand for Children representative says that charter schools are not tied down by regulations, you can tell them exactly what that means.
What provoked this post is some research that was done and then provided by EduShyster. Here is an excerpt:
As regular readers can attest, EduShyster has been driven nearly INSANE (not to mention deep into the bottom of the occasional box of wine) by the vagaries of charter school math. That’s why it was such a relief to encounter some detective work by an enterprising local edu-blogger that found that charter school numbers really do add up—to quite a lot, it turns out.
First, a little context for your edu-fication. You see, charter schools are public schools, (unless their teachers want to join a union in which case they suddenly become private.) And because they are public the state collects reams of data about their students, their incredible shrinking classrooms and their 100% graduation rates. Tragically, reporters and state edu-crats are banned from viewing this information which means that the data often feel very lonely. And that, dear reader, is why it is so important that we have edu-bloggers.
The blogger who writes An Education thought it would be interesting to see what Massachusetts schools suspend the highest number of students. Here’s what she found:
Now, there are a few striking things about this list. The first is that virtually all of the schools on this list are charters. The second is that these schools are suspending the @#$% out of their students. At our number 1 school, Roxbury Preparatory Charter, 56.1% of the students were suspended for one or more days last year. The suspension rate for the entire Boston Public Schools, by the way, is 5%.
To be fair, there are some public school districts on this list too. One would be Fall River, the same Fall River that was sued this summer by the ACLU for violating the civil rights of black and Latino students BY SUSPENDING THEM AT SUCH HIGH RATES. So let’s sum up, shall we? The achievement gap is the civil rights issue of our time, far more important than the actual civil rights of the minority students themselves.
To read this post in full, go to EduShyster.
As promised, more information on the subject: