‘Random’ Assignment to MA Charter Schools?

Maybe not so much (boldface mine):

By law, charter schools are public and are required to be open to all students.

However, the low-income population at Sturgis and Lighthouse is a fraction of that in our district schools. Neither charter has ever enrolled an English Language Learner. Why are their enrollment demographics so out of line with those of our district public schools?

Charter schools counter charges of selectivity and privatization by claiming the state-mandated lottery for selecting students is random, and therefore fair. But a lottery that requires an application, gives preference to siblings of enrolled students and involves transportation expectations for already-challenged families is neither random nor fair. Furthermore, Sturgis advertises itself as a “model of rigorous secondary education” with its International Baccalaureate curriculum. Given these selectivity advantages, it is not surprising that Sturgis attracts mostly high-achieving students and their parents.

I would be less inclined to view charter schools as de facto publiclyfunded private schools if a charter school ever had a higher percentage of English Language Learners and low-income students than comparable public schools. Oddly enough, that never seems to happen (it’s too much to ask for comparable expulsion rates).

Separate but equal educational systems worked so well in the past, so I’m sure nothing will possibly go wrong.

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1 Response to ‘Random’ Assignment to MA Charter Schools?

  1. joe mccauley says:

    Remember, charter schools were sold as “laboratories” where new ideas could be tried. If these new ideas worked, maybe some of what we learned could be applied to the rest of the public schools. Exclusion is not a new idea and we have already learned what the results will be. What these schools are doing does not take guts or vision.
    The comments for that article mentioned that extravagant school buildings are made for the comfort of the teachers who may be there 30 years. That one made me laugh out loud. I taught at the same school for 33 years, 28 in the main building and the last 5 in the trailer outside (used while the school was being renovated). I loved those years in the trailer, where I had control over heat, air and lights….and even windows that opened!
    It was also implied that being at a school for 30 years was a bad thing. Ask my former students.

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