To the editor:
Public charter schools in Massachusetts have provided high-quality options for families in traditionally underserved communities. There is no longer a dispute over whether charters are succeeding.
Every independent study by prestigious universities and institutes has found that charter schools are closing achievement gaps between low-income, black and brown students and their white suburban counterparts. Recent studies have also shown that special education and English Language Learner (ELL) students make significant academic gains in charter schools compared to those in district schools.
The Sun’s Editorial Board says that it is siding with “the children in our public schools” in its decision to endorse a no vote on Question 2 [Editorial: ‘No’ on Question 2, Oct. 23].
I ask the Sun, what about the 32,000 public school children on waitlists for charter public schools, nearly 800 children in Worcester alone? Approximately half of the public schools in Worcester are ranked as underperforming, according to the state. What about the public school students in those schools?
Recent MCAS/PARCC data from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education found that 100 percent of urban charter schools in Massachusetts received the state’s highest academic rankings. These are schools in some of the worst-performing districts in the state offering high-quality educational options, comparable to some of the wealthiest suburbs.
Question 2 comes down to a simple question: Should families in underperforming school districts, including Worcester, the majority of whom are low-income, black and brown families, have equal access to high-quality educational options?
If you think we should block access to a proven educational option for these families and leave thousands of children behind, vote no. But if you think more families should have high-quality educational options, no matter their zip code, vote Yes on Question 2 this November.
Massachusetts Charter Public School Association