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On WNYC: Charter Schools and Attrition

Thursday, December 13, 2012 - 12:53 PM

A fifth-grade class working in "trust circles" at a KIPP charter school. (Beth Fertig for SchoolBook)

While there is no "mass exodus" out of charter schools or "dumping" of students onto any particular district schools, the suspicions of selective enrollment and well-timed departures continue to dog charter school networks. In order to get the actual facts on the matter, Reporter Beth Fertig obtained data from the Department of Education showing the raw numbers of students leaving both district and charter schools over a three-year period. You can hear her full discussion with WNYC host Brian Lehrer above.

In one online comment, Guy from Brooklyn said education officials needed to make more data available for a more honest picture.

"Many suspect that the move to charters is a policy being kept in place by wealthy contributors and a few well-placed politicians to privatize public schools, undermine and kill the teaching profession for once and for all, and bust unions. To disabuse skeptics of these notions, you'd think education authorities, now in thrall to "big data" themselves, would make it easy to see that none of the criticisms are true," he said. "Instead, as this report shows, they have made it difficult or impossible to access key data about critical issues such as accessibility."

About the issue of keeping students back to repeat a grade, BK from Hoboken said maybe it's not such a bad thing.

"If a kid is not ready to move forward, even though lax state standards would let him/her move on, at least the charter is being realistic. Why push a kid who is already behind into the next grade where he can fall even further behind? We need more rigor in our schools."

Click on the link for the full Charters & Choices series.

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