Friday, May 28, 2010

The Cap is Lifted, Now What?

Well, it looks like they're going to do it. According to the Times, the City and State Assembly have reached a deal to more than double the number of charter schools allowed in New York State. In return for that increase, the bill will forbid charters from being operated for profit, allow the state comptroller to audit the schools, require that in instances of co-location any major improvements made to a charter school must also be made to the public school, and require the establishment of a building council to mediate disputes between the schools.

For those of you keeping score at home, that's (in order) two worthwhile changes, one kind of silly one, and one that's totally meaningless.

After all the time and ink that's been spent on this whole issue, I find that apparent resolution a little bit anti-climactic. Maybe I'll be wrong and this will be the education reform that changes everything and makes it so that all children can obtain an excellent education. But I doubt it. Assuming that New York continues to do a good job at approving charters, this will probably help some kids. But it's not going to help all kids. No matter what you read from the Post or Chancellor Klein or anyone else, this will - at most! - affect 6% of public school kids in New York City. That leaves a lot of kids out there who won't benefit at all from this. Let's take a minute to consider them before we take too many victory laps on this one.

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