Fewer than half of students in Boston charter high schools make it to graduation. That's the bottom line of a union-sponsored study of the city's charters.
Charter leaders don't deny the numbers, but they do deny consciously pushing students out of their schools. It's those doggone high standards that are to blame! According to the Boston Globe:
Many students, charter leaders said, choose to leave to dodge high academic standards, returning to city-run schools where getting a diploma is often easier. Only in rare circumstances, they said, did a charter student quit school without subsequently earning a diploma.
“We are not just handing out diplomas,’’ said Thabiti Brown, principal at Codman Academy Charter Public School in Dorchester. “We want students to be successful in college, but unfortunately we have students who leave because they feel our academic standards are too high."
Is it me, or is there a double standard here? Shouldn't education reform zealots, for the sake of consistency, accuse Principal Brown of heresy? After all, he seems to believe that some children can't learn to high standards. Shouldn't a "no excuses" school do "whatever it takes" to hold on to each and every student, regardless of how unmotivated or intimidated by high standards? I though only "establishment" educators made excuses.
More to the point.... How can we say charter schools are better than traditional public schools if charters can't hold on to less motivated, less accomplished ...