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How Charter Schools Exclude the Kids They Don’t Want

Stephanie B. Simon, investigative reporter for Reuters, has written a stunning exposé of the many ways that charter exclude kids who might drag down their test scores.

Getting admitted to a charter school, she writes, can be a “grueling experience.”

Examples: “Students may be asked to submit a 15-page typed research paper, an original short story, or a handwritten essay on the historical figure they would most like to meet. There are interviews. Exams. And pages of questions for parents to answer, including: How do you intend to help this school if we admit your son or daughter?”

And this:

“Thousands of charter schools don’t provide subsidized lunches, putting them out of reach for families in poverty. Hundreds mandate that parents spend hours doing “volunteer” work for the school or risk losing their child’s seat. In one extreme example the Cambridge Lakes Charter School in Pingree Grove, Illinois, mandates that each student’s family invest in the company that built the school – a practice the state said it would investigate after inquiries from Reuters.”

And there is much more. Read it. Then ask, are these public schools or private schools subsidized with public money?

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Diane Ravitch

Diane Ravitch is Research Professor of Education at New York University and a historian of education. She serves on the board of the Core Knowledge Foundation, Common Core, the Albert Shanker Institute of the American Federation of Teachers, and Common Good. She is an honorary life trustee of the New...