By Nancy J. McGinley
On July 27, 2017, The Wall Street Journal’s Opinion page offers an important article by Richard Whitmire citing new research on college completion by graduates from the top charter school networks.
Whitmire reports that these graduates experience unprecedented success in college completion in comparison to similar students who attended traditional public schools. His data indicates that students “earn four year degrees at rates that range up to five times as high as their counterparts… These are low income minority students from cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, and Newark, NJ.”
He further speculates, “It is difficult to identify an antipoverty program that has been as successful as charter schools… ”
This emerging data will make it difficult for educators and civic leaders to defend an “anti-charter school” stance if they are truly concerned about improving school outcomes for low income students.
Despite the promising findings, it is important to remember that there is no conclusive evidence to establish the overall superiority of charter over traditional public schools. There is consistent research showing that within each model of school governance there exists both highly effective and under–performing schools.
Hence, wise parents and caregivers must continue to examine the evidence and outcomes of each individual school before making critical school enrollment decisions.
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