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Richard Rider

NYC charter schools deliver quality education. Yet NY politicians are desperately trying to outlaw them

Here is a stunning chart demonstrating the incredible success of Success Academy Charter Schools in New York.  Most are located in NYC and have almost all low income minority students.  These relatively few schools DOMINATE the entire NY state K-12 schools’ student rankings.  Study it in detail.

The chart provided by Professor Mark Perry and the American Enterprise Institute provides the summary data referenced in a recent WALL ST JOURNAL article by the inimitable Thomas Sowell. Also included below are some “money quotes” from Dr. Sowell’s op-ed.

Note that of the 2,405 K-12 in the state, Success Academies constitute 20 of the top 30 schools’ average student scores.  Compare Success Academies with the other top schools.  Look at the demographics.  Look at the percent of free student lunches (a sure indicator of low income families).  Consider that most Success Academy students are selected by LOTTERY — unlike some of the other selective schools.

Now, remember that the mayor of NYC, his city council and most Democrat politicians in NY are doing everything they can to kill off charter schools and school choice in general.  And remember, these are the folks crowing about how much they support Black Lives Matter.

Obviously, they don’t.

And apparently neither does BLM.  That’s because the paymasters of the Democratic Party are the public employee labor union bosses — led in turn by the all-powerful teacher unions.

I doubt that BLM has EVER staged a single protest defending charter schools serving low income, predominantly black communities.  Not a peep from BLM calling for improved education opportunities for “their” children (or anyone else’s, for that matter).

The national NAACP has largely opposed private schools — including charter schools.  They usually oppose school choice in general.  That’s because — like the liberal politicians — the NAACP leaders are the sycophants of their paymasters who control the Democratic Party — the teacher unions.

A few local NAACP chapters have come out in FAVOR of school choice, but they were quickly slapped back into line by the national organization.

I disagree with most policies of the Democratic Party. But their disgusting policy of “keeping blacks in their place” is downright nauseating.  BLM — an arm of the Democratic Party — seeks power and payoffs — not the improvement of the lot of blacks in America.

Charter schools’ enemies block black success….

… is the title of Thomas Sowell’s op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal, here are some money quotes:
For decades, there has been widespread anxiety over how, when or whether the educational test score gap between white and non-white youngsters could be closed. But that gap has already been closed by the Success Academy charter school network in New York City. Their predominantly black and Hispanic students already pass tests in mathematics and English at a higher rate than any school district in the entire state. That includes predominantly white and Asian school districts where parental income is some multiple of what it is among Success Academy students.
New York’s charter school students are predominantly black and Hispanic, and live in low-income neighborhoods. In 2019, most students in the city’s public schools failed to pass the statewide tests in mathematics and English. But most of the city’s charter school students passed in both subjects. Such charter school results undermine theories of genetic determinism, claims of cultural bias in the tests and assertions that racial “integration” is necessary for blacks to reach educational parity with whites.
The success of New York City’s charter schools is not only a threat to educational dogmas. Competition from charter schools is an existential threat to traditional public schools in low-income minority communities, which tend to have even lower educational outcomes than traditional public schools as a whole.
The table above (click to enlarge) shows the top 30 elementary schools in New York state (out of 2,405 total) ranked by their 2019 “Average Standard Score,” which is calculated based on statewide test results for the New York State Assessments for English Language Arts and Math (data here). Note that there are 20 Success Academy Charter Schools in the top 30 schools statewide, along with two other charter schools in the elite group of the 30 highest-ranking schools in the state (the top 1.25%). Note also that compared to the 10 non-Success Academy Charter Schools in the state’s top 30 schools, the Success Academy Charters have a much higher percentage of low-income students qualifying for free/discount lunch (67.9% vs. 42.8%) and a much higher percentage of black (52.1% vs. 16.4%) and Hispanic (31.8% vs. 23.3%) students. It’s also important to note that Success Academy Charters admit students by lottery and not by academic abilities like at least some of their non-charter counterparts.
Here’s more from Sowell:
Teachers unions and traditional public school administrators have every reason to fear charter schools. In 2019 there were more than 50,000 New York City students on waiting lists to transfer into charter schools. If that many students were allowed to transfer, in a city where expenditures per pupil are more than $20,000 a year, the result would be that more than a billion dollars a year would transfer with them to charter schools.
That would be a lot of money for traditional public schools to lose and a lot of jobs to lose. Among the ways of blocking students from transferring into charter schools is preventing charter schools from getting enough classrooms to put them in.
Only the voters, who hold the ultimate power in a democracy, can stop politicians, bureaucrats and teachers unions from sacrificing the education of children to the vested interests of adults who run the schools. The stakes are very high for children whose education is their best hope for a better life.
In a saner and more sensible world where students and learning are really the No. 1 priority, the educational establishment (including members of the teacher unions and the NYC mayor) would be “falling all over themselves” to copy the proven educational success of charter schools like the 16 Success Academy Charters profiled above. But in the insane world of New York City where unionized teachers have a stranglehold on public schools, the liberal mayor, and liberal teacher unions are waging a war on the city’s most successful charter schools including the ones operated by Success Academy Charter Schools. Preservation of the status quo and a continuation of the current failed public school model, and preserving its power, are the primary concerns of the teachers unions and their administrative enablers, which now includes the new New York mayor de Blasio.
It’s also a perfect opportunity to invoke Perry’s Principle which says that progressives (including teachers unions) don’t value people (students, parents); rather they value power over people or just plain straight-up political power.
Bonus: Venn Diagram below: