Massachusetts Charter Schools and Their Problems With “Attrition”

Massachusetts Charter Schools and Their Problems With “Attrition”

A key issue in the charter cap debate: attrition.
Boston’s high school students divide up between charters and public district schools: Every independent charter school in Boston had a higher cohort attrition rate in 2014 than BPS as a whole.
* Notice where the world “public” is put in the title of this group? They desperately want us all to believe charters are “public” schools, even when the courts and other public authorities have ruled repeatedly that they are not.

The debate about lifting the Massachusetts charter school cap continues to rage on, in anticipation of November’s vote on Question 2:
Question 2 on the November ballot will ask voters if they support giving Massachusetts the authority to lift the cap on charter schools. As it stands, no more than 120 charter schools are allowed to operate in the state; there are currently 78 active charters.
A “Yes” vote on Question 2 would give the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education the authority to lift the cap, allowing up to 12 new charter schools or expansions of existing charters each year.
Priority would be given to charters that open in lower-performing districts. New charters and charter expansions approved under this law would be exempt from existing limits on the number of charter schools, the number of students enrolled in them and the amount of local school districts’ spending allocated to them.

https://archive.is/IH5MX

You see, “attrition,” for the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, has a very specific meaning: This report provides the percentage of attrition by grade from the end of one school year to the beginning of the next for students enrolled in public schools, including charter schools, in the state. The information is as of October 1 of the school year selected. [emphasis mine] In other words, “attrition” is the percentage of students who only leave a school’s rolls during the summer. Which may be an interesting statistic, but does not include all of the students who leave during the school year. Further, “attrition” as defined by MA-DESE only tells half of the story we need to hear if we’re going to evaluate charter school performance. What we really need to consider is whether the students moving out of charter schools are being replaced at rates equal to the replacement rates for students moving out of public district schools.
http://www.tbf.org/tbf/54/rttt/~/media/A2900218FDAB41749B33231BAF8557DD.pdf

But what happens if the school doesn’t backfill?

What’s Going Wrong with Charters
https://cloakinginequity.com/2016/09/22/gulen-affiliated-charter-schools-are-bad-apples/

Charters are Ethically Challenged. Working for the benefit of the investors, not the kids.

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