Not all charter schools succeed and not all traditional public schools fail. But, by and large, in New York City the hard data in my new book, “Charter Schools and Their Enemies,” show most charter schools doing decisively better than the traditional public schools housed in the same buildings with them.
Although New York’s charter schools usually come out ahead in comparisons based on data, traditional public schools often come out ahead in comparisons based on rhetoric.
One piece of rhetoric that seems plausible on the surface is that charter schools “skim the cream” of students, leaving the public schools worse off. But this ignores the fact that admission to New York City charter schools is by lottery—that is, by luck—and not by students’ academic records or test results.