Category Archives: Charter Schools

Debunking Charter School Myths: Do the Math

Nov. 22, 2013The Boston Herald provided a math lesson to charter critics in a recent editorial. One point not mentioned is that unlike district schools, charters must lease their facilities on the open market, an additional cost that can be a significant line item for schools located in cities, like Cambridge, where space is tight and rents are high and rising. We are sharing the Herald’s editorial in its entirety here: Continue reading

Charter School Supply and Demand

Hundreds attended the annual Boston Charter School Fair in January.

Hundreds attended the annual Boston Charter School Fair in January.

A front page story in today’s Boston Globe print edition (“Charter schools overstate demand review shows,” April 8, 2013) gives us an opportunity to explain CCSC’s wait list policy.

1. Our wait list includes only students who have entered one of our 2013-14 lotteries by submitting our standard one-page application form (which asks for demographic information only) and proof of residency, a new state requirement for all charters. Siblings of current CCSC students and Cambridge residents get priority in our lotteries, but the only residency requirement is that the student is a Massachusetts resident at the time of application. Continue reading

Myth Busting with the Boston Globe’s Scot Lehigh

About half of CCSC students come from Boston.

About half of CCSC students come from Boston.

An editorial yesterday by Boston Globe columnist Scot Lehigh (“A new actor on the school stage,” 4/3/13) highlights recent poll data that showed Boston voters care about improving education quality as much or more than they do about creating jobs and fighting crime. Seventy-three percent of those surveyed support charter schools, and half said they would send their child to a charter over a district school.  As Mr. Lehigh notes, education reform is sure to be a hotly debated issue in the next Boston mayoral campaign. Continue reading

Myth Busting: Charter School Selectivity

CCSC teacher Kyle Fahsel with 7th grader humanities students

CCSC teacher Kyle Fahsel with 7th grade humanities students

Another of the persistent myths about charter schools is that they “cream” the best students and those from the most involved families from district schools. This argument often is used to refute the findings of research studies (like the recent report from Stanford University) that show students in charter schools outperform their district peers in learning growth. With the statewide charter school lottery coming up on March 13, we’d like to put this myth to rest once and for all. Continue reading

Myth Busting: Charter School Accountabilty

CCSC earned a #1 ranking among public schools statewide

CCSC earned a #1 ranking among public schools statewide

Last weekend The New York Times ran an editorial that perpetuated one of the persistent myths about charters schools: that charters are not held strictly accountable for their students’ performance. We were dismayed by this across-the-board criticism, as charter schools in Massachusetts are subject to the most stringent accountability standards in the nation, including comprehensive reviews by the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, regular site visits, and the submission of annual financial reports. A school’s charter is granted for five years, and the DESE can decline to renew the charter if the school is not performing up to the standards set by the state.

Below we share a letter to the NYT editor from the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association, rebutting the criticism. We also note with pride that CCSC was one of the #1 ranked schools cited as evidence that charters schools in this area are outperforming other public schools, and are making great strides in closing the achievement gap among urban students. Continue reading