Charter Schools More Likely to Earn Failing Grades in Mecklenburg Co.
While charter schools are often sold as the solution to all of our education problems, new school grades from Mecklenburg County paint a much different picture. While 8 out of the 34 charter schools earned an "F", only 5 out of the 165 traditional public schools received the same.
For years, charter school advocates have tried to convince us that the independently run schools are generally superior to traditional public schools. Free to innovate, they are a particularly attractive option for kids trapped in the poorest schools, their backers argue.
For years, we have recognized the potential and delighted in the successes. Yet we have also seen that they are no panacea. There are strong charter schools and weak ones, just like traditional public schools. Rather than embracing a blind devotion to charters, adults would best serve students by studying the most effective ones and applying their tools to far more campuses.
On Thursday, the newest evidence emerged that there’s nothing magic about charter schools. The state Department of Public Instruction released letter grades for each public school, based on the school’s academic performance and growth.
As the Observer’s Ann Doss Helms reported, charter schools in Mecklenburg County generally fared worse than traditional Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.
Eight of 34 charter schools earned an F, or nearly one in four. Just five of 165 traditional public schools (3 percent) earned an F.
Eleven of 34 charter schools received an A or B (32 percent), compared with 67 of 165 traditional schools (41 percent).