According to a new study released by the Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity, Charter schools have worsened school segregation in Chicago, and overall have made the city’s school system stronger.
Analysts looked at data for 2012-13 and cites major factors as reading and math scores, reading and math growth and graduation rates as contributing factors for the trend.
[The study] found that charters lagged behind traditional public schools in such major factors as reading and math scores, reading and math growth and graduation rates.
And while 20 percent of traditional public schools showed a diverse racial mix, only seven percent of Chicago’s charters did, according to the report.
Since students self-select into the charter system, their performance should outpace children in traditional schools — but it doesn’t, said Myron Orfield, who heads the institute that looked at Chicago because it’s home to charter champion U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
“The question is whether charters are the best path available to find ways to better serve low-income students and students of color, given that this approach has failed to improve overall student performance by most measures, and led to less racial and ethnic diversity in the city’s schools,” Orfield said.
The study called for a three-year moratorium on new charters – which are publicly funded but privately operated – so the district can study the impact of the charter policy has affected all its schools.
Chicago Public Schools said the district is not looking for new charter schools to open in fall 2015, but will go forth with plans to open up seven charter schools that have already been approved.
CPS has opened 31 new charter schools since 2012.
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