Decades of research now reveal that charter and private schools do not produce student achievement superior to existing public schools.
Since politicians and education reformers are fully committed to charter and private schools, we have reason to be optimistic that existing public schools now provide the market pressure necessary for charter and private schools to improve:
- Public school provide community-based education guaranteed to all students in that community, rendering the need to choose or wait for that choice to create the sort of education children deserve unnecessary.
- Public schools by law fully serve English language learners, high-poverty students, minority students, and special needs students—those students under-served and even denied access to charter and private schools.
- Public schools seek and foster experienced and certified teachers.
- Public schools respond to local control and directly to tax-payers those schools serve.
- Public schools are committed for decades to the communities they serve.
- Despite often being underfunded and demonized in the mainstream media, public school students’ achievement is about the same as charter and private school students who attend better funded and highly praised schools.
- Exceptional public schools should serve as models for the performance of all charter and private schools—without regard for students served and without any review of the data supporting that exceptional status.
In the coming years, we must call for adequate and robust research on the market pressure public schools are creating for improving our stagnant charter and private schools.