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Poor and Minority Communities Gain Big from Charter Schools


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A new study on education outcomes has just weakened one of the key talking points for charter school opponents. Four years ago, the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (Credo) compared charter students to those at regular public schools and found that charter school students often performed worse than their public school counterparts. The study’s results were shouted from the rooftops by groups looking to discredit the charter school movement. This year, however, Credo released an updated study and found that charter schools have made significant gains over the past few years: Charter students are now eight days ahead of their traditional public school counterparts on average, while remaining roughly even on math.

The most interesting data, however, was the study’s race and income breakdown, as the Wall Street Journal reports. White students actually performed worse in charter schools, but black and Hispanic children from low-income communities saw big gains.

The results, then, are a mixed bag for charters. On the one hand, low-income minority communities are precisely the places in need of more effective alternatives to traditional public education. On the other, the underwhelming results for other communities serve as a reminder that charter schools are in no way the solution to all of our educational woes.


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