San Diego Unified and Grossmont Union are suing to shut down certain charter schools that offer online credit-recovery courses and independent study options, saying they’re illegally operating within their boundaries. Meanwhile, San Diego Unified is expanding its own versions of those programs, hoping to capitalize on the growing market for non-traditional education options and hold onto students who would otherwise leave.
Data provided by five charter schools offers a window into the way San Diego Unified benefited from a system that allows it to unload its lowest-performing students and maintain a graduation rate above 90 percent.
In this week’s podcast, hosts Scott Lewis and Laura Kohn talk to Miles Durfee of the California Charter School Association about some of the hottest topics of the charter school debate, and they dissect President Trump’s controversial pick for education secretary.
One big criticism leveled at charter schools is that they exacerbate school segregation. But there are a few big reasons why it’s hard to measure whether that’s happening in San Diego.
It’s not totally clear what Betsy DeVos might do as education secretary. But we can look at the limitations of the role and come away with a few points of understanding.
A thriving elementary school in a middle-class neighborhood. A bilingual school built from scratch. A charter with uniforms and strict discipline policies. Each story is distinct, but when we take a step back, we see common threads.
Both nationally and locally, the debate over the value of charter schools often focuses on students of color – namely, whether charters are adequately educating black and Latino students, as well as those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The O’Farrell Charter School sees a fraction of the fights as Lincoln High, two miles west. Based on surveys area principals conducted with parents, violence is a big part of the reason why 70 percent of southeastern San Diego families opt for charters or schools in other neighborhoods.
Well-run charter schools create competition, and competition can trigger low-performing schools to improve.
While other nearby district schools are figuring out how to attract students from the neighborhood, students are clamoring to get into Gompers Preparatory Academy and The O’Farrell Charter School. If traditional schools want to compete, they’ll have to look to charters to see what they’re doing right.