Charter co-location — having a charter school share a building with a district-run school — is a “phantom threat,” argues Marcus Winters in a New York Daily News commentary. Co-locations don’t affect test scores for students in traditional public schools, his research shows.
“Rent-free co-locations have helped charter schools expand rapidly in New York City,” despite receiving no state funding for facilities, Winters writes.
More than half of New York City’s traditional public schools share space with other schools and with community organization, he notes. Only charter co-location is controversial.
Complaints range from fairly small issues such as insufficient closet space or changes to the building’s lunch schedule to more serious issues that could impair a school’s effectiveness, such as classroom overcrowding and the loss of classroom space used for small-group instruction and teacher preparation.
Looking at test scores over five years, co-locations — whether with other traditional public schools or with charter schools — do not show “any discernible impact on student achievement.”
New York City charter students outperform similar students in traditional public schools, two studies have found. A 2013 CREDO study found gains for urban charter students in New York City and elsewhere.