In 7 districts, 30% of students are in charters

More urban students are choosing charter schools, according to a new National Alliance for Public Charter Schools report. In seven school districts, 30 percent of public school students are enrolled in charter schools; in 25 districts, 20 percent are in charters and at least 10 percent are attending charters in 110 districts.

New Orleans is the number one charter city: 76 percent of students enrolled in charter schools in 2011-12,, up from 70 percent the year before. Also in the 30+ percent range are Detroit, Washington D.C., Kansas City (Missouri), Flint, Gary, and St. Louis.

Nationwide, charter schools enroll more than two million students with an increase of  200,000 students in 2011-12.

Georgians voted to expand charter schools in the November election. Now Superintendent John Barge plans to “brand” public schools in marketing campaign titled “Georgia’s Future. Now!” reports Education Week.

“A lot of folks don’t know the good things going on because we historically don’t do a good job telling them about it,” Barge said.

The effort . . . includes old-fashioned outreach: printed literature, knickknacks with a logo, a speaker’s bureau of teachers to address community groups. If enough private money is raised, it also will feature a Web TV comedy series — with hopes of the show being broadcast on Georgia Public Television — titled “Modern Teacher.” Styled after the television series “Modern Family,” it depicts life in a Georgia school.

Competition is healthy, but I doubt knickknacks will be effective with Georgians. The comedy series is a creative idea, but these things require very good writing.

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  1. Stacy in NJ says:

    Good news!

    Over time some of these charters are going to fail and some succeed. Some of the competing district schools will improve or fail. Then we’ll get some comparative data. Yaahoooo! Watch the paradigm shift before your eyes.

  2. I’m sure that it’s no coincidence that the cities with the most charters are cities with public schools which are not only failing academically but are also likely to be not only chaotic but downright dangerous. Even if the charters are not better academically but are orderly and safe, it’s no wonder that parents are desperate to get their kids into them. I’ve read that some charters are making serious academic progress, with the Core Knowledge program.

    Now, wouldn’t it be nice if the public schools started to offer a better curriculum? My kids’ old ES was very high-performing (at the time), which was to be expected in that affluent, highly-educated area, but I’d bet big money (if I had it) that, if it started a CK+Singapore Math program and returned to leveled classes, teacher-centered instruction and individual work, the kids would be so far ahead of the other schools in the cluster by the time they hit the MS that the parents of kids at the ESs would be screaming for the same curriculum.

    Of course, the first thing public schools have to do is to make the schools safe and orderly; whatever the impact on the proper-colors-and-flavors issues. Silly advertising doesn’t cut it.

  3. Florida resident says:

    Dear Ms. Jacobs !
    “Thw New Yorker” magazine has published large
    (10 pages) aricle in its Nov. 19, 2012 issue
    by someone David Denby with the title
    Dianne Ravitch takes on a movement. ”
    I did not have time to read it in full, therefore no comments, as of now.

    Respectfully yours, F.r.

  4. lightly seasoned says:

    The Imagine charters in St. Louis were closed before the start of this school year, sending thousands of kids back to the district schools, so I suspect St. Louis now falls off that list.

    I was kinda interested in this example of a failed charter to see what would happen. If there hadn’t been regular district schools to take the kids — they had to open up new buildings for them — I don’t know where they would have ended up. Imagine was performing well under the regular public schools and I think there were financial improprieties.

    • I’m sure it’s a real relief to the parents of those kids to have them back in the schools they just escaped from.