A new study conducted by Success Academy has dispelled a common myth about charter schools and their impact on district schools, especially in communities of color.
The study reveals that in District 5, which includes most of Harlem, charter schools have not caused any financial or educational damage to regular public schools.
In fact, they have only benefited them. Charter schools currently enroll 59% of all public-school students in the district and two-thirds of K-8 students.
Their introduction has been instrumental in improving overall district performance on state tests and narrowing the racial “achievement gap.”
Furthermore, it has resulted in higher per-pupil spending in regular public schools and smaller class sizes, while charters have managed to operate on nearly half the per-student funding.
Charter schools may be the saviors of public education in urban communities, contrary to popular belief. Critics have long accused charters of “cherry-picking” the most promising students, but the data shows otherwise.
In fact, Harlem charters enroll a greater proportion of economically disadvantaged students than the district’s regular schools, at 87% compared to 82%, and of Black/Latino students too, at 95% compared to 85%.
The charter law mandates that these schools focus on serving the most disadvantaged students.
Opponents of charter schools have already begun to raise concerns about the Governor’s plan to open dozens more charters in the city.
However, the usual arguments about “cherry-picking” and charters “draining” resources from the regular system are baseless lies.
The only people who do not benefit from the growth of charters are the teachers’ unions and the politicians they support.
Lawmakers who attempt to halt the Governor’s plan are taking the side of special interests and are against the children, all of them.