(p. A17) On Sept. 8, 1992, the first charter school opened, in St. Paul, Minn. Twenty-five years later, some 7,000 of these schools serve about three million students around the U.S. Their growth has become controversial among those wedded to the status quo, but charters undeniably are effective, especially in urban areas. After four years in a charter, urban students learn about 50% more a year than demographically similar students in traditional public schools, according to a 2015 report from Stanford’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes.
The American cities that have most improved their schools are those that have embraced charters wholeheartedly. Their success suggests that policy makers should stop thinking of charters as an innovation around the edges of the public-school system–and realize that they simply are a better way to organize public education.
New Orleans, which will be 100% charters next year, is America’s fastest-improving city when it comes to education. Test scores, graduation and dropout rates, college-going rates and independent studies all tell the same story: The city’s schools have doubled or tripled their effectiveness in the decade since the state began turning them over to charter operators.
. . .
The teachers unions hate this model, because most charter schools are not unionized. But if someone discovered a vaccine to cure cancer, would anyone limit its use because hospitals and drug companies found it threatening?
For the full commentary, see:
David Osborne. “Charter Schools Are Flourishing on Their Silver Anniversary; The first one, in St. Paul, Minn., opened in 1992. Since then they’ve spread and proven their success.” The Wall Street Journal (Fri., Sept. 8, 2017): A17.
(Note: ellipsis added.)
(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date Sept. 7, 2017.)
The commentary, quoted above, is related to Osborne’s book:
Osborne, David. Reinventing America’s Schools: Creating a 21st Century Education System. New York: Bloomsbury USA, 2017.