Last week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told four charter schools they would lose their school buildings, leaving at least 700 children without a school this coming school year. One of the schools is already open and serving children—with achievement scores that make it one of the highest performers in the city and state. Three others were scheduled to open this fall, one of which may still be allowed to do so, but only with reduced enrollment.
Mayor de Blasio’s decision has left many scratching their heads, especially when we look at how well public charter schools are serving the Big Apple’s students:
- NYC students gained 94 days of learning in math by attending a public charter school (“National Charter Schools Study,” Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University CREDO, June 2013).
- The typical student in a New York City charter school gains more learning in a year than his or her district school peer, amounting to about one more month of learning in reading and five more months of learning in math. (“Charter School Performance in New York City,” CREDO, February 2013).
- NYC public charter schools have lower student transfer rates than district schools (“Staying or Going? Comparing Student Attrition Rates at Charter Schools with Nearby Traditional Public Schools,” New York City Independent Budget Office, January 2014).
- There is no evidence that charter schools refuse to admit or push out students with disabilities (“Why the Gap? Special Education and New York City Charter Schools,” the Center for Reinventing Public Education, September 2013).
This research confirms what many parents and students on the ground already know–that charter schools work. It’s time that Mayor de Blasio takes a look at the research himself, maybe then he would reconsider his approach to helping the city’s most vulnerable youth.
Nora Kern is senior manager of research at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.