Richard Whitmire, a contributor to The 74, offered some information that might bear on the question in his piece in The Wall Street Journal. The National Education Association and the NAACP both oppose charter schools, the one because they don’t use union teachers and the other because they attract poor kids to charters and away from inner city public schools in which the NAACP is so politically invested. In other words, because as Whitmire put it, charters upset the comfortable status quo of these adults.
Now some hard data via Whitmire’s piece; these are in addition to the rising test scores that charter school students are achieving (especially compared to comparable schools—which is to say public schools in poor districts).
Graduates from the top charter networks—those with enough high school alumni to measure college success accurately—earn four-year degrees at rates that range up to five times as high as their counterparts in traditional public schools.
Those traditional counterparts are low-income, minority students in public school systems in cities like Eric Garcetti’s United Teachers Los Angeles-run LA and Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago Teachers Union-run city, cities where the NAACP also is highly influential.
There’s this datum, too:
Roughly half the graduates of Uncommon, YES Prep and the KIPP New York schools…earn bachelor’s degrees within six years. About a quarter of the graduates of the lower-performing charter networks earn degrees within six years.
This compares with 9% of “graduates” of low-income public schools.
One more: charters help their graduates succeed in college with active advice on course to take, how to manage the credit amounts within and across semesters, even such things as how to perform while being the only minority student, or one of a very few, in what used to be an all-white class. Those public schools just shove their students out onto the street.
Actually, the teachers unions and the NAACP don’t have anything in particular against these charter children of low-income families. The kids are just tools to be used for the benefit of union leadership and NAACP virtue signaling.