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Charters & Choice News Roundup: The Case for Competition

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Today on the weekly Charters & Choice news roundup, we'll look at the case for competition: does competition from charters improve traditional schools and how are school districts handling the new paradigm? But first...

Of heiresses and ed. reformers... The granddaughter of Walmart's founder, and heir to an inheritance of about $165 billion, has ideas for reshaping American education (and perhaps the money to do it). She shares her plans with Forbes:


Making the case for competition... a high-profile New York City charter school founder and advocate writes in an op-ed to The Wall Street Journal that New York City charters improve nearby district schools. Eva Moskowitz compared test results among areas of New York City with high and low numbers of charter schools:

"Of the 16 charter-rich districts, 11 rose in the rankings. And of the eight among those 16 with the highest charter enrollment, all rose save one. The district that jumped furthest, rocketing up 11 spots between 2006 and 2014, was District 5 in Central Harlem, which has the city's highest charter-school enrollment (43%)."

(You can read more background on Eva Moskowitz and reaction to her op-ed, here.) 

To see how regular district schools are responding to competition from charters, NPR went along with one principal as she canvassed neighborhoods, selling her school.


In time for the Holidays... authorizers in D.C. and Massachusetts are borrowing an idea from retail and creating their own secret shopper-like programs to make sure charter schools aren't turning away students with special needs (an issue that's long-dogged the sector). 

"It's something any authorizer can do and it's kind of fun," Naomi DeVeaux, the deputy director of D.C.'s public charter school board told me for the story.

ICYMI:

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence proposes expanding vouchers and charter schools

California Charter Association Calls for Closure of Five Schools

Delaware Charter Schools Are Segregated, Says ACLU

Texas Charter Operator Agrees to Change Enrollment Policies After Federal Probe

Las Vegas Has Fastest Growing Population of Charter School Students, Report Says

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