The New York City Independent Budget Office now has egg on its face after its shocking finding – 80% attrition among charter school kindergarteners in special education! – turned out to be inaccurate.
Back in 2008, when Senator Obama was running against Senator McCain, something unusual happened in the final minutes of their third and very contentious, partisan debate. They agreed on something: charter schools were a good thing. They agreed on this one issue because charter schools when done right (as in NYC) are a good thing.
A new report from the NYC Independent Budget Office found that student attrition rates in charter schools are lower across nearly every student subgroup -- with the one exception, which contradicts previous research, being calculated from a tiny sample.
The NYC Department of Education (NYC DOE) released its 2012-13 Progress Reports for all public and charter schools*. Charter schools continue to earn a higher distribution of A and B grades than district schools; 69% of charter schools scored an A or B grade over 63% for the district.
The debate about charter school funding was split wide open last week when a new study found that charter schools receive much less public support per pupil, when accounting for the full value of retirement promises to district school teachers. The valuation matters because the City is not saving enough for today’s workers’ future benefits, instead effectively running up a credit card bill.
The New York City Council Education Committee held a hearing October 2, to consider three important resolutions, Res. 1263-2012, Res. 1395-2012 and Res. 1906-2012, regarding school utilization. The resolutions call for a moratorium on school closings and co-locations for a period of at least a year, require CEC approval for school co-locations, and create new procedures for parental notification of proposed changes in school utilization.
A rigorous new study of charter elementary schools has a startling implication: mainstream general education classrooms at NYC charter schools contain many students who, statistically, would have been assigned to special education had they attended district schools.
“It ain't what people don't know that hurts them. It's what they know that ain't so.” Whoever said that didn’t know the charter school debate.* Especially after the release of state test scores, we actually have both problems.