Thursday, May 5, 2016

Do Charter Schools Really Do Better? Let's Look at Los Angeles

Do Charter Schools Really Do Better? Let's Look at Los Angeles:
Do Charter Schools Really Do Better? Let’s Look at Los Angeles


Advocates for charters schools like to talk about their unwavering commitment to student success, parental choice and the benefits of privatization, but their main argument for charter schools is that with their “no excuses“ approach they can do a better job than public schools educating inner-city minority youth.
In 2009, the Board of Education of the Los Angeles Unified School District passed a Public School Choice Motion that expanded the number of charter schools in the district.
While in my Huffington Post blogs I frequently complain about both charter schoolsand the way high-stakes testing is perverting education in the United States, sometimes the data the tests produce can be useful. So to answer the question “Do Charter Schools Really Do Better?” let’s look at some test score numbers from Los Angeles.
On SAT exams administered to high school juniors 2400 is the maximum possible score. A score of 1500 is considered the minimum threshold signifying college readiness. Top colleges demand much more. In 2013, 2052 was the average SAT grade for freshmen accepted into UCLA.
The Los Angeles Times published a list of the average SAT scores at the 100 lowest performing high schools in Los Angeles County. Eight of the ten worst performing schools, including one that has already been closed, are charter schools. This includes the Animo Locke Charter High School #1 operated by the Green Dot Corporate Charter Schools chain whose founder, Steve Barr wants to run for mayor of Los Angeles in 2017 based on his record of educational “success.” Green Dot also operates four other charter high schools among the bottom twenty SAT performers and a total of nine schools in the bottom fifty.
Critics have long charged that the SAT primarily measures the socio-economic status of students, a charge the College Board, which operates the SAT refutes. However Los Angles high school SAT test scores seem to confirm what critics are saying. In each of the ten worst performing schools, the student population is more than 90% Latino and Black and in some cases it is 100%. The number of students eligible for free or reduced price lunch at these schools, a major indicator of poverty level, ranges from 84% to 99%. In some of the schools the number of English Do Charter Schools Really Do Better? Let's Look at Los Angeles:
 

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