Tom Moran of the Star-Ledger runs the numbers:
Let’s start with the kids. At last count, 26 percent of Newark students attended charter schools, a number that has spiked in the past five years and is expected to grow to as much as 40 percent.
According to the most respected national study on charter school performance, from Stanford University, Newark’s are among the best urban charters in the country. AtTEAM Academy’s high school, 95 percent of the kids attend college after graduation. TEAM’s elementary and high school students beat the state average on reading and math tests.
And TEAM isn’t cheating by recruiting the wealthier and whiter kids in Newark: 92 percent of their students are African-American and 88 percent get free or reduced-price lunches.
Newark parents have been on to this for years. More than 10,000 are on waiting lists for charters, equal to nearly a third of those in the traditional system…
What about the traditional system? If those kids were doing worse, that could outweigh the progress at charters.
But that’s not true. The growth of charters has not damaged the kids in the traditional system. In fact, they’ve made modest improvements.