“Most charter schools . . . don’t take the hardest-to-teach kids, or, if they do, they don’t keep them,” charged Hillary Clinton in a town hall hosted by the South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus.
Moderator Roland Martin had asked if she supported expanding charters and vouchers. In a TV One poll, “74 percent of black parents said they were interested in enrolling their kids in charter schools, 78 percent favored school vouchers,” he said.
Clinton said she backs “the idea of charter schools” as a “supplement for the public schools.” But . . .
In addition to implying that charters aren’t public schools, Clinton ignored the reality that, except for students with disabilities, charters serve a higher percentage of children from “hard-to-teach” group, writes Charles Barone. He cites Stanford’s CREDO:
“Charter schools in the United States educate a higher percentage of students in poverty. [A] much larger proportion of charter students are black than in all public schools. The proportion of Hispanic students is slightly larger in charter schools than all public schools as well. [Charter schools] have a higher proportion of students who are English language learners and a lower proportion of special education students than are in all US public schools.”
Nationwide, “charter schools served a higher-percentage of low-income students (57%) – than district-run schools (52%) – and have better outcomes,” responded Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.
In New York City, charter public schools do a better job of retaining students with disabilities than their non-charter public school counterparts, she added.
In 14 cities, more than 30 percent of public students are enrolled in charter schools, according to a NAPCS report. Charter school enrollment has tripled since 2006.