Charter Schools vs. Public Schools: And The Winner is...

Do charter schools offer more options than public schools overall?

Earlier this month, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott announced that 54 new schools will open in the coming 2012-2013 school year, bringing the number of new schools opened under the Bloomberg Administration to 589.

The new schools will welcome more than 7,000 students next year, and over 21,000 when they grow to full size. 

According to the mayor’s office, charter schools rank higher on parent satisfaction surveys than other schools across the City; perform better than schools they have replaced on the state’s annual math and reading exams; and graduate students at significantly higher rates, on average by 20 points and in some cases more than doubling that of schools they replace.

However, other studies are showing that  charter schools are not necessarily outperforming public schools as was claimed previously.

A study produced by the National Education Policy Center (NEPC), housed at the University of Colorado at Boulder School of Education, with funding from the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice found that on average, charter schools are not outperforming traditional public schools.

After controlling for population and environmental factors, there is no statistically significant difference between charters and non-charters in performance for grades 4, 6 and 7. Meanwhile, 5th-grade charter school students underperformed their peers enrolled in traditional public schools, according to the study.

What do you think? Do charter schools offer more options than public schools overall?

Scott Kochman April 25, 2012 at 07:50 PM
It seems more than simple to me. Charter schools that replace failing schools are usually better than the failing public schools they replace, but taken over all, the average public school and the average charter school perform similarly. I'll bet that a regular public school that replaces a failing charter school would usually perform better than that failing charter school.
C. Zawadi Morris April 25, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Makes sense!
Furtgo April 25, 2012 at 10:26 PM
Charter schools encounter problem children just as other public schools. They are only as good as the lottery pool from which they pull. It's better to just re-assign administration and faculty in original public schools to make them more effective.
sandy April 26, 2012 at 03:06 AM
I have children in both and i think there are too many charter start=ups that do not necessarily do better than there counterparts. Like the previous lister said, it's only as good as the ppol of students/families in the lottery. Also many charters don't have the room or resources for special needs kids. Parents should note that if your child has special needs, not all charters can "fix" your child just because there are 2 teachers in a room. Opt for a public school with a track record in special education. I do think the longer day is a bit beneficial because you can do more with enrichments and the arts.
Marisol Vasquez April 26, 2012 at 09:15 AM
Charter Schools seem to do better just because they cater to the best students, they pick the cream of the crop, and dry up the funds that should be designated for our public school system, what happens to our average / special needs students? then they are left behind and forgotten
Carmen April 26, 2012 at 01:54 PM
I offer this as a point of clarification on charter students: charters cannot "pick the cream of the crop". By law they have lotteries to fill slots. Lotteries are monitored and pick students at random from a list of names submitted by parents. The beauty of charters is that the charter (the contract to operate) between the school and the charter authorizer is of limited time (ie: 5 years). In order for a charter to continue to operate it must meet specific academic and other criteria to get its charter "renewed". The beauty is that those that don't perform will experience repercussions and face closure. In my mind that's a great thing - holding schools accountable to make sure they deliver a good education. I've been in education for decades- we have all seen schools that have failed our communities for 30, 40 years and nothing is done - that results in generations of poorly educated people and it's a shame. All schools should be accountable to produce well educated children - because we all know that all children can learn - no matter what their
Carmen April 26, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Circumstances. (apologies, as I hit submit too soon)
Tai Johnston April 26, 2012 at 03:45 PM
I love the Charter school. In particular the (Clinton hill) school that my child attends offers a real challenge to the students, (first grade). I have seen my child advance like in a manner that i probably would not have seen in the public schools. Of course, parental involvement is of the utmost importance in your child's academic success. No matter what school the child attends, no matter what grade level, the parent's must remain involved!!! The blame of failing schools should not be placed on the school system. It's up to the parent and child. The curriculum offered at the charter school is geared to prepare the child to eventually become an outstanding scholar. The children are taught to think for themselves. They are provided with the necessary lifetime tools of what discipline and structure is all about. They are also understanding that the method of learning does not just stop when the three o'clock bell rings, or the [i'm exempt from learning] on Saturday, Sunday or holidays'. I think that the charter schools' sometimes offer a challenge to the parent or care taker because of the level of work/assignments that are to be completed. I have actually heard two parents state that they were going to remove their child because of too much work. Or because they did not understand how to assist the child in completing the assignment. *****To be continued in the next frame*****
Tai Johnston April 26, 2012 at 03:46 PM
And to Marisol and Sandy, Marisol you are incorrect. Sandy you are correct because a lottery system is just that. There is no favoritism. If all the charter schools follow the same methodology of teaching, I can't see where they will fail. Educating and learning is a life long process that will involve effort. The processing of a child learning should not be left [just ] up to the school.
Gregory E Jones September 28, 2012 at 11:05 PM
I love charter schools just because of the no bullying and the dicipline all the the kids dress as one no big I or little u's and from what I se the teachers talk to them and not at the them They do instill a form of dicipline early nothing wrong with that parent do have too get involved
Jessica pinto October 06, 2012 at 04:36 AM
I actually love charter schools my 10yr old daughter was just enrolled into her school and she loves it. The teachers show more effort into teaching as well as the parents are very much involved. I love the fact that they have discipline and dress codes no student should be going to school for a fashion show. Education is first and so as our kids!


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