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State Rep. Pettigrew: Charter Schools Will Help Children Now Falling Through the Cracks

State Rep. Eric Pettigrew represents a southeast Seattle legislative district with five of the lowest-performing schools in the state. He’s unsuccessfully tried to get charter schools passed in Olympia and he’s pushed for stronger teacher evaluations. …

Pettigrew represents a small but growing number of legislators who are part of a group called Democrats for Education Reform.

New York City Charters Earn High Marks as Portals of Achievement and Opportunity for At-Risk Youth

During the eight years I served as chancellor of New York City’s public schools, the naysayers and the apologists for the status quo kept telling me “we’ll never fix education in America until we fix poverty.”

I always thought they had it backward, that “we’ll never fix poverty until we fix education.” Let me be clear. Poverty matters: Its debilitating psychological and physical effects often make it much harder to successfully educate kids who grow up in challenged environments. And we should do everything we can to ameliorate the effects of poverty by giving kids and families the support they need. But that said, I remain convinced that the best cure for poverty is a good education.

Why Parents Support YES on 1240: The Washington Public Charter Schools Initiative

SEATTLE — A coalition of Washington education groups on Tuesday filed a citizen initiative asking voters to allow 40 public charter schools in the state over the next five years.

As a parent of children who attend our public schools, I was glad to sign the petition to place Initiative 1240 on the November ballot, and I support a YES vote. Here’s why.

Initiative 1240, the Washington Public Charter Schools Initiative proposed for the November ballot, is an important measure for Washington parents, students and teachers that will finally bring the option of high performing public charter schools to our state.

A YES Vote for 1240 Is a YES Vote for Public Education

I’ve been a strong advocate for public education throughout my career, and I have consistently supported our public school teachers and advocated for increased funding for our public schools. That’s why I support a YES vote on Initiative 1240, the Washington Public Charter Schools Initiative, slated for the November ballot.

Parents and students in 41 other states have the option of public charter schools as part of the public education system, and Initiative 1240 will finally bring the option of high quality public charter schools to families here in Washington, too.

New York City Charter School Students Continue to Outperform Traditional School Counterparts

… For the third year, the [New York City’s] charter schools outperformed traditional public schools in math and English, and the spread in results between the two groups has increased.

In math, 72 percent of charter school students passed the state tests this year, compared with 60 percent of traditional public school students. In English, 51.5 percent of charter school students passed this year’s tests compared with 46.9 percent of traditional public school students. (About 30,000 charter school students took the tests; 400,000 students took the tests in traditional public schools.)

Charter Schools: Establishing New Standards for Students in Vulnerable Communities

“EVERYONE’S pencil should be on the apple in the tally-mark chart!” shouts a teacher to a class of pupils at Harvest Preparatory School in Minneapolis. Papers and feet are shuffled; a test is coming. Each class is examined every six or seven weeks. The teachers are monitored too. As a result, Harvest Prep outperformed every city school district in Minnesota in maths last year. It is also a “charter” school; and all the children are black.

Two Million Reasons to Support Charter Public Schools

I can think of two million reasons to support charter public schools. That’s the number of children whose parents have decided a charter school is the best educational choice for their child.

Today there are 5,600 charter schools in the 41 states that don’t ban them. Enrollment is growing at a rate of 7.5% a year. The number of students on a charter school waiting list has jumped to 600,000, enough to fill an additional two thousand schools.