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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.

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With 100,000 More Signatures Than Required, Charter School Approval Heads to Voters in November

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The charter schools initiative is officially on the Washington state ballot for November.
Secretary of State Sam Reed announced Wednesday that supporters easily qualified by submitting more than enough signatures. …

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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.

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YES Vote on Charter Schools Measure a Worthy Choice for Better Education in Washington

Initiative 1240, which would legalize charters in Washington for the first time, has just officially qualified for the ballot. The usual suspects are lining up against it, notably the Washington Education Association – which tore into the measure like a pit bull the moment it got traction.

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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.)

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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.

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In Our View: Time to try charter schools

Efforts are under way to place an initiative on the Nov. 6 ballot that would ask voters to allow 40 public charter schools around the state in five years. Supporters have until July 6 to gather almost 250,000 signatures. It’s a worthwhile effort and a modest proposal, a mere foot in the door in Washington, one of just eight states that do not have charter schools.

Before explaining why this is a good idea, we will first point out that this is precisely why the initiative process is important in our state. The Columbian believes the premier function of initiatives is not necessarily to change laws but more effectively to force action after the Legislature has refused to act.

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Editorial: Put charter schools plan on ballot and pass it

In Washington, charter schools are like most late library books: overdue without a good excuse.

The state ought to have them. Most others do.

Under this initiative, charters can’t exclude students who wish to attend, nor charge tuition. Funding is based on per-student enrollment, just like traditional public schools. Nonprofit entities run the schools and can hire and fire teachers, but the students are expected to meet the same academic standards.

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In our view | Charter schools: A modest, constructive idea

…We agree that money alone won’t deliver a world-class education to all of Washington’s students. The fact that better than 1 in 4 students don’t graduate from high school on time isn’t just a funding issue. Innovation has to be part of the solution.

Yet Washington has long resisted bold efforts for change in education, whether pushed by business groups or bipartisan coalitions of teachers, parents, community leaders and other education advocates. Still, such a group has organized for one more try, this time filing an initiative to allow a limited number of public charter schools.

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Editorial: A worthwhile conversation about charter schools

The charter schools ballot initiative proposed for the November election was born out of parental frustration with the Legislature’s failure to move on a key education reform.

The effort is not a Democratic strategy, although many in the party support it, but an educational strategy acknowledging that our schools aren’t working for all students. Let lawmakers and the state teachers union argue about money and control. The bottom line: Our schools need new and creative approaches.

The charter proposal is thoughtful. A coalition of education-advocacy groups behind the effort is seeking a maximum of 40 public charter schools over five years, operated by qualified nonprofits and overseen by a local school board or a special state commission. The schools would be free and open to everyone.