Update: Reuters Reporter Rebuts Critics Of Charter Story
On Monday, I posted a handful of responses to Stephanie Simon's charter school story from charter school advocates (see Charter Advocates Denounce Reuters Reporting).
My own thought about the piece was that its thesis -- "across the United States, charters aggressively screen student applicants, assessing their academic records, parental support, disciplinary history, motivation, special needs and even their citizenship, sometimes in violation of state and federal law" -- was overly broad and needed to be quantified or qualified in some way in order to give readers context.
Simon kindly took the time to respond in an email this morning, the gist of which was that the problems she found seemed more common among standalone charters and that while she didn't find a lot of schools with 20-age applications she did find "hundreds that ask for social security numbers or original social security cards (illegal under federal law); that ask for birth certificates (also illegal); that request documentation of special education needs up front in the application process," etc.
She also points out that she indicates in her story that the practices are more common in standalone charters rather than networks, and quantified the prevalence of problems where possible (ie, Philadelphia).