It should be noted that four of five trends identified by Dana Goldstein are grounded in inequities and access: widening achievement gaps, weighting college access, curtailing charter schools and addressing segregation. These issues aren’t new but are now garnering more attention and focus – and rightly so. From our perspective at the Diverse Charter Schools Coalition, the work of our members represents how schools can do better in meeting these challenges.
The Coalition is a member-driven group of “diverse-by-design” charter schools, representing a grassroots model of integration, pushing against inequities and for greater access for all students. Across the country, students, staff and families are choosing integrated charter schools because they know it’s right for them and our society. Evidence shows that racial and socioeconomic integration offer benefits to all students across income and racial differences. Students in racially and socioeconomically diverse schools: have higher average test scores; are more likely to enroll in college; and are less likely to drop out.
Working alongside districts, charter schools can and do provide more seats in integrated learning environments and help develop strategies to enhance integrated classrooms. Plans that cut support of such schools close opportunities for collaboration, and instead exacerbate divisions.
Sonia C. Park
Diverse Charter Schools Coalition
This a response to Cheating Scandals, Charters and Falling Test Scores: 5 Takeaways From the Year in Education published in The New York Times on December 27, 2019.