2018-02-08 / Letters

Newspaper stories point to failing charter schools

To the editor:

In Ben DeGrow’s letter to the editor regarding charter schools, he omitted most of the facts about Michigan Charter Schools. In the Detroit Free Press analysis it states, “64% of the students in charters schools open 10 years or more are not meeting the basic requirements as assessed. 70%, of the charter schools in Michigan (are) at or below average on state assessment.” National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) gave Michigan Legislation policies 3 points out of 27. Education Trust-Midwest states authorizers and operators who serve the majority of Michigan’s charter school students are falling short of that standard.” The standard being that the charter school would be equal or better than the traditional one available. Federal Government denied grants to Michigan Charter Schools because of lack of oversight.

The New York Times in a Sept. 5, 2017, article about Michigan Charter Schools states, “Michigan Gambled On Charter Schools. Children Lost.” Michigan is not the only state facing charter issues. A study in Ohio by the Walton Family Foundation reported, “Students who use vouchers to attend private schools have fared worse academically compared to their closely matched peers attending public schools.” The math results were the worse.

In the same NYT article it states, “But while vouchers and charters are often grouped under the umbrella of “school choice,” the best charters tend to be nonprofit public schools, open to all and accountable to public authorities. The less “private” that school choice programs are, the better they seem to work.” Massachusetts has developed policies for their charter schools with good success. They are all approved and monitored by the state.

We need to invest in schools and policies that work for all our children. Once again, we need to look at what Massachusetts is doing.

Robert Dunn
Pine Meadow Dr.

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