Charter schools score higher than city-operated schools by many measures — but they serve a less challenging population, with fewer needy students, the latest state numbers show.
Publicly funded, privately run charter schools enroll less than half as many English-language learners and fewer kids with disabilities than district-run schools do.
Special-needs kids constituted 9.4% of the students in charter schools, compared with 14.1% in city-run schools, state data from the 2011-12 school year show. English-language learners were 5.8% if the enrollment in charter schools, compared with 15% in district schools.
The charters outperform traditional public schools on many standardized tests, but critics say they start off with advantages because of the gap in percentages of English-language learners and students with disabilities.
Boosting charter schools has always been Mayor Bloomberg’s strategy — and Education Department spending on charters has multiplied by 20 times since 2002.
The city’s 159 charters are bound by law to admit students though random lotteries, but some have been accused of “creaming” less-challenging students from the pool of applicants.
“It’s a problem at some schools,” conceded a charter school leader who wished to remain anonymous. “They don’t go out of their way to find those students.”
Nice to see Ben Chapman off the "Pervert Teacher Beat!" and actually covering an important story that doesn't get nearly enough coverage - charter schools serve a different student demographic than public schools do and thus, comparisons between the two are unfair at best, rigged to make the public schools look bad at worst.
Chapman reports the next mayor could put a dent in the charter sector growth by making them pay rent for co-locations.
I am dubious that anything will happen to the charter school sector's growth no matter who is elected mayor.
There is much money to be made by the "non-profits" working these charter school scams and they're doling out just enough of that cash back to politicians for campaign purposes that I suspect nothing is going to change post-Bloomberg.
As always, hope to be wrong about this.
But you'll never go broke betting the charter school operators will continue to get good press about their "miracle schools" even as they take a demographic that rigs their tests scores to look better than those of traditional public schools.