-- JENNIFER GILLIAM, Pasco
I believe that research has shown that charter schools do not increase student achievement. The most extensive study done so far, conducted by Stanford University, shows that only 17 percent of charters perform better than traditional public schools, while twice that many perform at a lower level. Many charter schools in Chicago are either demonstrating lower state test scores or have proven to achieve the same.
Charter schools are promoted by the private sector with leaders who are not educators (Bill Gates) and who do not know or understand our diverse population of students in Southeast Washington. In addition, charter schools are unaccountable to local voters. They are costly. Charter schools drain $100 million from existing public schools. We would spend millions on charter schools for a tiny fraction of students would gain access to these schools.
Public schools have been inadequately funded at the expense of our children. We need appropriate funding.
Furthermore, schools should be held accountable for student achievement but lawmakers should not ignore proven educational research to evaluate school performance, especially in schools with diverse populations. We need proven solutions to real problems -- so all our children can succeed and not an expensive Band-Aid promoted by a large corporation.