Quest to Learn in the News
I’m glad that Quest to Learn is the subject of media attention and debate. Unfortunately, this particular article leaves readers only partially informed about how Quest to Learn operates. Nowhere in the article is the word “charter” mentioned. The article lists both public and private sources of funding, but provides no information about who runs the school. The reference to “New York City education officials” may cause readers to conclude mistakenly that Quest to Learn is managed by the New York City Department of Education.
And this sentence gives an erroneous impression about Quest to Learn’s admissions (emphasis mine):
Select sixth graders can look forward to playing video games such as “Little Big Planet” and “Civilization,” as well as non-digital games ranging from role-playing scenarios to board games and card games.
It implies that Quest to Learn is exclusive, when in fact students are admitted through a lottery just like at other charters.
This isn’t the first time I’ve seen reports on charter schools that portray them as regular district schools with special powers. That was something that bothered me in Outliers, when Malcolm Gladwell didn’t identify KIPP as a charter. Perhaps this journalistic tendency can be attributed to the newness of charters, and charter school coverage will become more accurate when the schools have been around longer.