Tag Archives: Charter schools

Thomas Sowell on Charter Schools: Education for Students, Not Unions, by Bob Luddy

Nobody likes being shown up. From Bob Luddy at spectator.org:

To do so, Sowell compares New York City’s charter schools to its public ones. For example, Success Academy (47 New York City schools) and KIPP Academy (15 NYC schools), both public charter schools, have established the best K-12 schools in Harlem and have demonstrated the ability to successfully educate minority students. These charter schools have conclusively proven that minorities and underprivileged students can be educated to the highest standards. This extraordinary success is based on test data from the state of New York and is achieved despite large class sizes of around 30 and fewer financial resources than traditional public schools.

Charter Schools and Their Enemies, Thomas Sowell, book cover

Charter Schools: Educating for Excellence

These charter schools require a high level of discipline from every student and a focus on primary academics, including mathematics, history, science, logic, writing, and thinking skills. Importantly, in these schools there is more time to teach. This means students spend more time on task than those in traditional public schools.

In Harlem, charter schools are often located in the same building as traditional public schools. Sowell compares test data from these schools, which jointly house traditional public school students and charter school students.

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Charter Schools and Their Enemies, by Walter Williams

One way impoverished minority children can catch a break is by enrolling in charter schools. Sadly, the demand far exceeds the supply. From Walter Williams at theburningplatform.com:

Charter Schools and Their Enemies

Dr. Thomas Sowell has just published “Charter Schools and Their Enemies.” He presents actual test scores of students in traditional public schools and charter schools on New York State Education Department’s annual English Language Arts test and its Mathematics test. Sowell gives the results of student tests in charter schools such as KIPP, Success Academy, Explore Schools, Uncommon Schools, Achievement First as well as the traditional New York City public schools.

On the English Language Arts test, a majority of charter school students, most of whom were black or Hispanic, tested proficient or above. Their achievement ratio was nearly 5 to 1. On the Mathematics test 68 percent of charter schools’ 161 grade levels had a majority of students testing proficient. In the traditional public schools, 177 grade levels, just 10 percent had a majority of their student testing proficient.

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Better Schools, by John Stossel

If you like a service in the private market, the market will probably provide more of it. If you like something the government provides, it may well shut the service down. From John Stossel at townhall.com:

Better Schools

With most services, you get to shop around, but rarely can you do that with government-run schools.

Philadelphia mom Elaine Wells was upset to learn that there were fights every day in the school her son attended. So she walked him over to another school.

“We went to go enroll and we were told, ‘He can’t go here!’ That was my wake up call,” Wells tell me in my latest video.

She entered her sons in a charter school lottery, hoping to get them into a charter school.

“You’re on pins and needles, hoping and praying,” she said. But politicians stack the odds against kids who want to escape government-run schools. Philly rejected 75% of the applicants.

Wells’ kids did eventually manage to get into a charter called Boys’ Latin. I’m happy for them. I wish government bureaucrats would let all kids have similar chances.

Wells was so eager for her sons to attend that she arranged to have one repeat the sixth grade.

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Black Education: What Makes Sense? by Walter E. Williams

Charter schools are one of the few educational “innovations” that have actually improved education. From Walter E. Williams at lewrockwell.com:

What do you think of the proposition that no black youngsters should be saved from educational rot until all can be saved? Black people cannot afford to accept such a proposition. Actions by the education establishment, black and white liberal politicians, and some civil rights organizations appear to support the proposition. Let’s look at it with the help of some data developed by my friend and colleague Dr. Thomas Sowell.

The Nation’s Report Card for 2017 showed the following reading scores for fourth-graders in New York state’s public schools: Thirty-two percent scored below basic, with 32 percent scoring basic, 27 percent scoring proficient and 9 percent scoring advanced. When it came to black fourth-graders in the state, 19 percent scored proficient, and 3 percent scored advanced (http://tinyurl.com/y85a4phm).

Dr. Sowell compared 2016-17 scores on the New York state ELA test. Thirty percent of Brooklyn’s William Floyd elementary school third-graders scored well below proficient in English and language arts, but at a Success Academy charter school in the same building, only one did. At William Floyd, 36 percent were below proficient, with 24 percent being proficient and none being above proficient. By contrast, at Success Academy, only 17 percent of third-graders were below proficient, with 70 percent being proficient and 11 percent being above proficient. Among Success Academy’s fourth-graders, 51 percent and 43 percent, respectively, scored proficient and above proficient, while their William Floyd counterparts scored 23 percent and 6 percent, respectively, proficient and above proficient. It’s worthwhile stressing that William Floyd and this Success Academy location have the same address.

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