1. She states, in regard to Milwaukee, “students in the charter schools do no better than those in public schools.” Actually, if you look at WKCE data from 2011, 60% of students in independent charters (our members) were proficient or advanced in math, and 81% in reading (compared to 48% and 59% for traditional MIlwaukee Public Schools). Furthermore, in the recent statewide report cards issued by DPI, the average score for independent charters was 64.36, compared to 54.92 for MPS. The report cards certainly have some limitations, which we've acknowledged in the past, but clearly it’s inaccurate to suggest that Milwaukee charter school students are not doing better than students in traditional public schools.
2. Ms. Ravitch also states that charter schools are “skimming” and rejecting students “they don’t want.” This is false. State law requires independent charter schools to accept all students who apply, and must hold a random lottery if there are more students applying than there are seats available. Also – does she know that some MPS schools have early and selective admissions? She doesn’t mention that.
As Alan Borsuk stated in his January 6 column, we have a lot of work to do across all sectors . However, misleading and broad statements won’t help us as a community to make the changes necessary to raise achievement for all students—including replicating the
successes that independent charters in Milwaukee have demonstrated.