Leslie Brody, former education reporter for The Record and currently writing at the Wall Street Journal, reports on the growing number of Newark families who are choosing charter schools:
In the debut of a system that lets families apply to charter schools and district schools at the same time, Newark got an eye-opening lesson: More than half of the applicants for kindergarten through eighth grade ranked charters as their first choice.
The application numbers, supplied by the state-operated district, show the popularity of charters at a time when Superintendent Cami Anderson’s One Newark reorganization plan faces heated opposition from some residents.
According to the article, next year 12,200 of Newark’s 46,000 students will choose to attend charter schools next year, and “district officials predict that by the fall of 2016, about 40% of the city’s public-school students will attend charters.”
More than 12,600 families applied for seats through the new enrollment system since January. Students who wanted to stay where they were could do so without applying. In the first application round—which saw the vast majority of requests—charters were eight of the 10 choices most commonly named for seats in kindergarten through eighth grade. The district said 45% of families got their first pick.