Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Charter school tricks: an ongoing saga

This is remarkable:
Boston’s Commonwealth charter schools have significantly weak “promoting power,” that is, the number of seniors is routinely below 60 percent of the freshmen enrolled four years earlier. looking at it another way, for every five freshmen enrolled in Boston’s charter high schools in the fall of 2008 there were only two seniors: Senior enrollment was 42 percent of freshmen enrollment. in contrast, for every five freshmen enrolled in the Boston Public Schools that fall there were four seniors: Senior enrollment was 81 percent of freshmen enrollment.
High graduation rates seem to be misleading if the weaker students are simply being pushed out and back into the public system (or even worse not in the system at all).  An honest conversation about choice requires that we be aware of the ways that private institutions are different than public ones.  I know people who have had their kids kicked out of a daycare because it wasn't working out and because a private institution can do what it wants with customers.  The ability to remove disruptive students is certainly a nice benefit, but does the likely arms race really work out for the children involved? 

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