Monday, October 24, 2011

Interpreting Charter School Rhetoric

Fernando Reyes:

YES Prep SW is a high-performing charter school. When I say high-performing, I mean it: our test scores are among the highest in the state, we send 100% of our students to four-year colleges, and the selectivity of the colleges our students is only increasing.

When you read this do you think of a school that has only graduated one class of 45 students, all of whom were required to be accepted to a four-year college to graduate? Can't easily figure out how many freshman started in that cadre, but I bet it was more than 45.

Later... scrolling down a little on the application linked to above, it looks like:

  • 76 9th graders in 2007-2008
  • 65 10th graders in 2008-2009
  • 50 11th graders in 2009-2010
  • 45 grads in spring 2011

Equals 100% college enrollment!

1 comment:

fernyreyes said...

1) I'd appreciate a link to my own blog instead of the repost.

2) More importantly, I agree that the numbers are too high. It's unacceptable that only 60% of our students were accepted to 4 year universities from the time they were 9th graders.

Those are high numbers compared to the local systems, but those are 40% of the students we failed.

More important, however, I think we do great work here. The teachers are well trained and evaluated and I think we focus on what matters: doing well on things besides standardized testing.

Do I think my school is perfect? No. No one should ever think that. Do I think we do a lot of things right? Yes. Do I think that this proves that charters are inherently better? Nope.

Please do understand this. I think our school is great. I understand the skepticism towards the charter school movement - I agree with the CREDO study that showed that many of them are creating results that are far worse. There are some schools out there that are getting great results, but those results are muted by the fact that we have certain advantages that regular schools don't. We can acknowledge and test for what works within a particular context. That should be our goal.

We should also be looking at high-performing public schools and see what works. Great results don't just come from charters.

We have an obligation to be rigorous to all schools and we will get better.

If you want to continue this conversation, I'd certainly love to do so.