On the 74, Richard Whitmire wonders why parents and teachers in wealthy communities like Newton, Massachusetts, are so actively fighting a ballot initiative that would allow more charter schools to open in other areas in the state.
As Whitmire notes, Newton does not have a single charter school. However, “Just before school opened in Newton this year, the union staffed a table outside its ($200 million) high school to encourage teachers to oppose the cap lift.”
The question comes down to this: Will voters in Newton (median house listing price: $1.2 million) vote to help out voters in Roxbury (median list price: $479,000) looking for better school options?
Researchers Sarah Cohodes and Susan Dynarski investigated the performance of charter schools in Boston. In an article that appeared on the Ed Next blog, they wrote,
This research shows that charter schools in the urban areas of Massachusetts have large, positive effects on educational outcomes. The effects are particularly large for disadvantaged students, English learners, special education students, and children who enter charters with low test scores.
– Education Next