A Misguided Attack on Charter Schools

13charterweb-articlelargeThe N.A.A.C.P., the nation’s oldest civil rights organization, has struggled in recent years to win over younger African-Americans, who often see the group as out of touch. The N.A.A.C.P.’s board will reinforce that impression if it ratifies an ill-advised resolution — scheduled for a vote this weekend — that calls for a moratorium on expansion of public charter schools, which receive public money but are subject to fewer state regulations than traditional public schools.
These schools, which educate only about 7 percent of the nation’s students, are far from universally perfect, and those that are failing should be shut down. But sound research has shown that, when properly managed and overseen, well-run charter schools give families a desperately needed alternative to inadequate traditional schools in poor urban neighborhoods.
This truth has been underscored in several studies by Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes. Last year, for example, the center found that students enrolled in charter schools in 41 of the nation’s urban regions learned significantly more than their traditional public school counterparts.
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