NYC School Vote and Charter Ramifications

by NYC Firm Schools on May 24, 2009

It's a matter of colors
Creative Commons License photo credit: Serge Melki

The Prawfsblawg post about the political ramifications about the upcoming State Assembly’s decision about whether to renew mayoral control of New York City’s schools has opened to door to a passionate discuss by parents of private, public and charter school students alike.

Though the post is intended to discuss the vote’s potential impact on charter schools, with reasoning such as:

The AFT has consistently opposed charter schools unless they are union-sponsored, because they are not subject to the 165-page collective bargaining agreement governing New York City’s regular public school teachers

In essence, the author stirred up an ant’s nest with the comment:

“Charter schools are popular with low-income, mostly minority parents precisely because they are free from lockstep seniority requirements, procrustean work rules, and interminable processes for teacher dismissal and discipline.”

There has been a lot of discussion about the post, but a commenter on the author’s blog actually addressed the point that most in the discussion were trying to get at

Is there sufficient empirical evidence to confirm the conclusion that these are the precise reasons for the popularity of Charter schools among “low-income, mostly minority parents?” In our neck of the woods (southern California), I suspect (based on testimonial/anecdotal evidence) there are other reasons, most parents knowing very little about such procedures and rules, although they’ve often come to fairly passionate conclusions about how public schools have failed to serve the educational needs of their children and do see Charter schools as an accessible alternative to largely unaffordable (i.e., without substantial financial assistance) Firm Schools.

The right education for a student can come in any form, depending on the facility, the student and the support system that both have. Be it a Charter School, a Public School, or a Private School, there are students from all incomes and backgrounds.

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