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Thompson: What's So Hard About Diverse Charters, Really?

Alexander's Education Next article, Diverse Charter Schools, begins with President Obama visiting the Capital City Public Charter School in Washington D.C. and declaring it an "example of how all our schools should be." 


I agree. Everyone should attend schools that are as wonderful as thousands of neighborhood schools in prosperous communities.  All schools should offer advanced and struggling students the opportunity to learn deeply, to be creative, and to solve problems, rather than focusing on remediation.

I cannot understand, however, why it is such a challenge to run those charter schools serving kids who are only 42% low income, with only 20% on IEPs. Neither can I understand why these relatively affluent charters deserve kudos for doing what magnet schools have always done.   But Russo offers a clue.  It is “strategically important to the reform movement” to create charters that elite parents would brag about. Also, one  progressive reformer claims “this [charter] model is the only model that can be principled and serve the needs of kids.”

Wow! Does that mean there is no principled way to serve my kids whose poverty and special education rates are more than twice as high as those in a diverse charter?-JT (@drjohnthompson) Image via.


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