More on the Success of Urban Prep
A lot of the critical focus on successful urban charter schools has focused on turnover: as some students drop out are they replaced by better students, thereby inflating the graduation/college-acceptance rates? That comes up with KIPP schools a lot, but also with schools such as Chicago's Urban Prep.
I'm sure there's some truth to that, but anyone who has spent time in these schools knows that's a minor issue. These schools are fulfilling America's promise to give each child, including urban boys, an adequate education. Maybe the numbers are small, but they are important first steps. Ideally, traditional public schools could draw lessons from these successes.
Some of that appears to be happening in Washington DC under Chancellor Michelle Rhee (the focus of my current research for the upcoming book, The Bee Eater) where there appears to be a healthy mix of charters and regular public schools.