Charter Schools’ Enemies Block Black Success

Thomas Sowell:

For decades, there has been widespread anxiety over how, when or whether the educational test score gap between white and non-white youngsters could be closed. But that gap has already been closed by the Success Academy charter school network in New York City.

Their predominantly black and Hispanic students already pass tests in mathematics and English at a higher rate than any school district in the entire state. That includes predominantly white and Asian school districts where parental income is some multiple of what it…

One piece of rhetoric that seems plausible on the surface is that charter schools “skim the cream” of students, leaving the public schools worse off. But this ignores the fact that admission to New York City charter schools is by lottery—that is, by luck—and not by students’ academic records or test results.

No doubt more motivated students are more likely to apply to charter schools. But only a fraction of those who enter the admissions lotteries win. This means that the majority of those motivated students remain in traditional public schools. The fraction that go into charter schools do not prevent traditional public schools from properly educating the much larger number who remain. If traditional public schools fail to do so, that is their own responsibility, and cannot be blamed on charter schools.

Teachers unions and traditional public school administrators have every reason to fear charter schools. In 2019 there were more than 50,000 New York City students on waiting lists to transfer into charter schools.

If that many students were allowed to transfer, in a city where expenditures per pupil are more than $20,000 a year, the result would be that more than a billion dollars a year would transfer with them to charter schools.

Sowell’s book “Charter Schools and Their Enemies” is scheduled to be available June 30.

2011: A majority of the taxpayer supported Madison School Board aborted the proposed Madison Preparatory Academy IB charter school.

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

Booked, but can’t read (Madison): functional literacy, National citizenship and the new face of Dred Scott in the age of mass incarceration