Time to charter a new course?
Oct 15, 2014 | 14654 views | 0 0 comments | 824 824 recommendations | email to a friend | print
If you've never seen the 1980s classic hit Pump Up the Volume, starring Christian Slater, you might want to put it on your cue.

That is because right now in our very city, charter schools are following a similar course as laid out in the film's plot, with charter schools carefully selecting only the most promising students to ensure optimal outcomes, according to a new report compiled by parent activists.

The report claims that two-thirds of the city's 33 existing charters are currently under enrolled. Four of those charters should have been closed for having such low enrollment numbers, yet SUNY somehow didn't notice this error.

Last week, SUNY approved the creation of 17 new charter schools in New York City, despite parent protests.

Already, there are many who are against charter schools because they are funded partially through public funds, yet they are not required to follow the same rules as fully public schools. So to these individuals, who are supported by Queens councilmanDaniel Dromm among others, this new information is a slap in the face.

If the findings are true, then it is well within the rights of parents – and all taxpayers, for that matter – to request a full investigation of the charter schools in the city by Comptroller Scott Stringer.

Furthermore, Stringer should join them in demanding a full, transparent review of charters to ensure that there are no other inconsistencies in reporting.

Regardless of whether new schools are opened or not, charter schools should look to English language learners and special education students to fill their allegedly empty seats. The effort to boost test scores by only enrolling the most promising students will only serve to widen the socioeconomic gap that is at the heart of many of the issues facing our city today, and that is the last thing anybody needs.

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