Cherry picking students | Arkansas Blog

Monday, July 11, 2011

Cherry picking students

Posted By on Mon, Jul 11, 2011 at 6:28 AM

Another installment in an important topic: Do charter schools cherry pick students, either in the admissions process or, where open enrollment is possible, by forcing out those difficult to educate? This article illustrates a student forced out of a praised charter school in New York.

Conclusions: The regular public schools handle more special needs children. Serving students with special needs lowers test scores.

Diane Ravitch's busy Twitter feed happened to also mention this item today — about admitted high attrition rates in charter schools and the ways they seek to mask them. I particularly liked in this post the quoted defense of charter schools that got rid of tough kids. They made it harder for others to learn, was the argument. Yes, but that option doesn't — and shouldn't — exist for true public schools.

Charter schools are a major topic on the Arkansas Board of Education agenda today, by the way. Watch here starting at 9 a.m. CORRECTION: Today's agenda was misread. Those charter items were at an earlier meeting, but the board is meeting, the first for two new board members.

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