According to a report released by the Chicago Public Schools, privately run charter schools expel students at higher rates than other institutions of learning in the district.
The data revealed that during the last school year, 307 students were kicked out of charter schools, compared to 182 kids expelled out of district-run schools. Charter schools have a total enrollment of about 50,000, compared to the district’s 353,000 plus.
That means charters expelled 61 of every 10,000 students while the district-run schools expelled just 5 of every 10,000 students. It’s the first time the district has released student suspension data for every school and also the first time it has released data on expulsions for charters. For charter critics, the numbers will buttress long-standing complaints that the privately run operations push out troubled students, allowing their schools to record stronger academic performances.
CPS chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett acknowledged the figures will become additional fuel in the ongoing debate over charters in the city. “I think there’s been a lot of supposition and conversation about what and how the charter success is measured, whether they throw kids out or they keep kids in,” Byrd-Bennett said. “I think having the data is going to now lead to productive conversations.”
The data also showed several charter schools that do not have high expulsion rates, but rates at some of the most touted charter schools were striking.
At Urban Prep Academies, the school that annually boasts a near perfect college acceptance rate, more than 3 percent of the student body was expelled during the last school year, compared to .05 percent at district-run schools.
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