Come Together, Right Now, on Charter Schools
When the editorial boards of the Washington Post and the Gray Lady, as well as opinion pieces in National Review, Reason Magazine, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch all agree on supporting an issue, you know they’re probably on to something.
What is that issue, you ask? Is it that puppies are cute? That apple pie is delicious? That Ken Bone is the hero we desperately need?
Nope, its Charter schools. Specifically that charter schools help low income and minority children.
The research literature is unambiguous. While suburban and rural charter schools are often statistically indistinguishable from their neighboring traditional public schools, urban charter schools consistently demonstrate significant positive results for their students. Yes, there is a distribution, with some performing far better than others. No, they cannot single-handedly solve every social ill of inner-city communities. But on average and in aggregate, they provide a better education for students than those children would have without charter schools in the mix.
This is why lawsuits trying to stop charter schools are bad for poor kids. This is why limiting charter schools to within the boundaries of the Kansas City and St. Louis school districts is short sighted. This is why major advocacy organizations for African-Americans taking stances against them is potentially harmful.
In a time of deep division, charter schools are an issue where we can come together. Let’s get to it.