Tuesday, January 24, 2006

More Charters?

Charter schools are all the rage nowadays—they’re now, they’re wow. But do we need more of them?

Well, Mayor Bloomberg thinks so. So does Governor Pataki. Of course these are precisely the same folks who’ve been having a sandbox battle over who should pay to bring decent schools to NYC’s 1.1 million schoolchildren.

“Not I,” said Governor George.

“Not I,” said Mayor Mike.

A 2004 study by the AFT indicated that public school kids scored higher on all-important tests than charter school kids. And the US Department of Education came to the same conclusion.

It seems to me that fixing public schools is far more important than expanding charters. That’s job no. 1. If charters are to be expanded, however, they ought to be just as accountable as public schools.

A recent Times column suggests that we should focus on the quality, rather than the quantity of new charters. I couldn’t agree more.
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