Charter schools are seen by reformers as the solution to the failure of traditional public schools. But a new report from the Network for Public Education calls that view into question (“A New Report Finds Massive Waste and Abuse in Federally Funded Charter Schools,” The Progressive, Dec. 12).
It estimates that about $1.17 billion has been wasted in charter schools since they began, resulting in a failure rate of 37 percent. Despite bold promises to parents and communities, charter schools don’t necessarily deliver the results. The cause is the Education Department’s practice of awarding grants to states with few rules and virtually no accountability.
Charter school supporters will be quick to point out that at least failing schools are no longer in operation, whereas traditional public schools that continue to fail remain. That’s true, but it’s a feeble defense for children who are left in the lurch when charter schools suddenly close often in midyear.
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