It’s taken a week to count the votes, but yesterday proponents of Washington state’s Initiative 1240, which will allow up to 40 charter schools to open over the next five years, declared victory. This makes Washington the 42nd state to approve charter schools. Only Alabama, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and West Virginia do not have legislation allowing for charters.
While flipping through this weekend’s edition of the Wall Street Journal, I came across a great piece about the success of charter schools in Harlem (read full article here). New York City’s progress reports for all of its 1,230 schools showed that charter schools have out-performed the rest of the city’s district-run schools by a wide margin. According to the article, eight of the top 11 elementary and middle schools are charters, four of which are located in Harlem. Although those who oppose charter schools, and school choice generally, would attribute this success to the way charters “cherry pick” the best students in the district, it is simply not true. Charter schools, including those in Harlem, run “lotteries” to select their students; it is really a matter of luck if a child wins a spot in the charter school.
I graduated from the University of Denver with a B.A. in History (minor in Political Science) and the University of Wyoming with a Master of Public Administration. I am an experienced copywriter and content manager. I am also a former intern/research associate for the Education Policy Center at the Independence Institute in Denver, Colorado and have previously blogged for National School Choice Week.