Key Issues


State constitutions describe the education that must be provided to children in various ways: “free and uniform,” “adequate,” “open to all children,” “general, suitable and efficient,” etc. States have struggled to enforce these provisions, particularly as they apply to children of all races and ethnicities, leading to the creation of federal laws to protect these children, as well as other specific groups of children, such as those with disabilities, those living below or near the poverty line, and English language learners.

Some charter school operators have set up barriers to entry and seek to serve more affluent, more advantaged and more homogeneous groups of students.

The specific barriers and excluded students vary. In Washington, D.C., charter schools expelled students at 72 times the rate of neighborhood schools. New York City’s Success Academy reportedly failed to comply with special education laws and “pressured parents” to send their kids to other schools. In Phoenix, where most students are Hispanic or African American, Great Hearts Academies has 5,000 students at 16 area schools, and 69 percent are white non-Hispanics.

The Schott Foundation’s Opportunity to Learn campaign describes the barriers charter schools erect that exclude students:

Some charters choose not to hire reading coaches, English learner teachers or special needs providers. They might only print their promotional brochures in English or advertise in a way that makes struggling students feel unwelcome. In the end, charters have many ways to say: “This school may not be for you.”

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System Failure: Louisiana’s Broken Charter School Law

The Center for Popular Democracy has a new report outlining the problems with Louisiana’s charter schools. The state has invested billions of dollars to charters and school takeovers; however, the rapid growth has not been accompanied by investment in oversight. “The state’s failure to create an effective financial oversight system is obvious, as Louisiana charter […] Read More »

Report offers a blueprint for a strong critique of federal oversight of charter schools

Feds Spent $3.3 Billion Fueling Charter Schools but No One Knows What It’s Really Bought The Center for Media and Democracy’s PR Watch wrote a report showing how taxpayer money is wasted by charter schools. (Read the full CMD Report on Charter School Waste and Lack of Accountability.) Excerpts from the report: “The U.S. Government Has […] Read More »

Charter school news

• Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation has a digital education division called Amplify. The Bloomberg News article “News Corp.’s $1 Billion Plan to Overhaul Education Is Riddled With Failures” outlines the company’s efforts to cash in on education without positive results. Read more here. • In New York, Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academy is under scrutiny for […] Read More »