Op-eds and Articles

Osborne for U.S. News & World Report: The Charter School Pot and Kettle

By / 8.25.2016

By David Osborne and Anne Osborne

Critics of charter schools love to charge that charters “cream” the best students by making it hard to apply and pushing out low performers. That’s why charters outperform traditional public schools, they assert. But they rarely present evidence, and they never admit that traditional public schools do exactly the same thing – only more often.

The NAACP recently passed a resolution calling for a moratorium on charter schools, in part because the schools allegedly encourage segregation and engage in “exclusionary discipline” and “differential enrollment practices.” In reporting this development The New York Times wrote, “Although charters are supposed to admit students by lottery, some effectively skim the best students from the pool, with enrollment procedures that discourage all but the most motivated parents to apply. Some charters have been known to nudge out their most troubled students.”

A few weeks earlier, a Los Angeles Times editorial criticized charter schools for discouraging families from applying by using long, complicated application forms. To be fair, they did point out that most charters are prohibited from selecting their students: When demand exceeds their capacity, they have to use lotteries in which every family has an equal shot at admission.

Read more at U.S. News & World Report