News stories

Charters underperform district schools

The School Progress Reports delivered a surprise to charter advocates: As a group, charters did not do as well as the city’s regular district schools, even though the charters do not serve as many high-needs students.

“Education is hard work no matter where you teach,” said UFT President Michael Mulgrew. “Those who like to praise the charters and denigrate other schools don’t always have the facts on their side, and pitting them against each other I find disgusting.”

The Progress Report results came out just as buzz around the new pro-charter documentary “Waiting for Superman” was reaching a fever pitch.

“Based on the Progress Reports, Superman must have been delayed,” Mulgrew quipped. “This means either that the strategy Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein have touted so often for school reform — the creation of more charter schools — isn’t working, or that the entire Progress Report methodology, which relies almost completely on standardized test scores, is flawed.”

Fewer charters got A’s and B’s (48 percent combined) than did district schools (61 percent). And charters got twice as many D’s and F’s.

But the charters serve a lower percentage of poor students — those receiving free lunch — and nearly three times fewer English language learners as the regular district schools.

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