One of the most frequent complaints heard from anti-charter school folks in Kentucky is that these schools of choice push out harder-to-educate students, thus inflating their performance.
But a Manhattan Institute report released earlier this year challenges that. Per the study summary:
“Students with disabilities and students learning English are more likely to remain in charters than in traditional public schools; low-performing students, as measured by standardized tests, are as likely to remain in charters as in traditional public schools.”
The summary continues:
“Analysis of enrollment and test-score data from New York City and Denver, as well as from an anonymous urban school district in the Midwest, found that low-performing students are just as likely to exit traditional public schools as they are to exit charters.”
So, at least in better run charter systems, the excuse that charters push out underperformers doesn’t pan out. Given the continuing serious achievement gaps in Kentucky’s traditional public school system, it’s high time for the Bluegrass State to join 43 other states and the District of Columbia in offering students a choice when they don’t succeed in traditional schools. Those who keep fighting this look more and more like they are more interested in “adult issues” than what is really best for Kentucky’s students.