Today’s Philadelphia Inquirer features an editorial by Kevin Riordan that describes how, according to a school board member, “parents in droves are choosing an alternative” to the district’s traditional schools, specifically the city’s growing cluster of charter schools. Riodan quotes David Kirp, an education scholar who famously hailed the reinvention of Union City’s schools without any assistance from charters:
Even a charter skeptic like my old friend David L. Kirp, the author of Improbable Scholars, Oxford University Press, 2013), which examines the success of traditional public schools in Union City, N.J., understands the rationale behind the state’s takeover in Camden.
“In any place that didn’t have such a consistent record of failing children, I would resist many of the steps that are being taken,” he says. But the situation in Camden is so dire. And, critically, a focus on quality in charter schools is part of the package,” Kirp adds. “So on balance this seems far and away the lesser of the evils…and may even turn out to be a good thing.”