Newspaper report: Charter schools do better…because they get richer kids

HOBOKEN AND JERSEY CITY — A statewide daily newspaper has made the case today that when Gov. Chris Christie touts the state’s charter schools, he leaves out the fact that they end up drawing kids from (usually) more well-off homes, who may need less supplemental support to educate. The piece mentions several Hoboken and Jersey City charter schools.
In the Star-Ledger, a columnist notes:

Let’s look at high-performing charters. Christie especially likes Newark’s Robert Treat Academy, founded by Steve Adubato, a Democratic boss who nonetheless helped him get elected, and Elysian in Hoboken. Christie visits both to promote charters. In the report the governor released weeks ago, their scores were 40 to 50 points higher than traditional schools. But only 45 percent of Robert Treat students are eligible for free lunches — meaning the poorest students — compared to 73 percent in Newark. At Elysian, 14 percent are eligible, compared to 58 percent for Hoboken’s traditional students. Both schools also have smaller special education and language-limited enrollments. That’s not a fair comparison.
Other alleged high performers are the same. Northstar-53 percent free lunch compared to 73 percent in Newark; Red Bank, 28.3 to 64.2 percent; Hoboken Charter, none versus 58 percent; LEAP Academy in Camden, 64 to 78 percent; Soaring Heights in Jersey City, 44.4 to 64 percent; Learning Community in Jersey City, 29.7 to 64 percent.
This newspaper asked for fair comparisons. It asked — seven times — for a report comparing similar students.

Over the weekend, the Hoboken Reporter ran a story about school choice. Check it out HERE and take the poll!

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