The Associated Press recently published an analysis that claims charter schools increase segregation in America’s public schools.
Charter schools are public schools operated by independent organizations, usually nonprofits. Freed from many of the rules that constrain district-operated schools, they can craft programs that meet the needs of their students. In exchange for increased autonomy, they are normally held accountable for their performance by their authorizers, who close or replace them if their students are falling too far behind. Most are schools of choice, and unlike magnet schools in traditional districts, they are not allowed to select their students.
The AP’s analysis relies on the previously discredited methodology of UCLA professor Gary Orfield’s 2012 study. Education reformers and civil rights activists have already spoken out against the report and its unfair condemnation of charters. But one can’t help but fear that such falsehoods will be turned into “truths” by anti-charter crusaders, especially those – like American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten – who were quick to promote the badly done analysis as “damning evidence” of the failure of public charter schools.
The truth is that public charter schools are giving long overdue opportunities to minority children by providing high quality educations. America should be praising them. Instead, crusaders like Weingarten use their lies to influence Americans and disempower thousands of minority families.
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