March 12, 2013

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Charter Schools Surging in Big Blue Mass.

America’s most successful anti-blue idea is thriving in a deep blue state: Democratic lawmakers in Massachusetts want to lift caps on charter schools and charter-school funding in 29 low-performing school districts. This has charter proponents very excited. . . .

It’s not clear what the Democratic-controlled legislature will do with the bill. It’s a safe bet that teachers’ unions will oppose it.

A few numbers are worth keeping in mind. There are now 31,000 Massachusetts students enrolled in charter schools, and another 45,000 applicants remain on waiting lists. Fifty-nine percent of Massachusetts charter schools achieved the state’s highest ranking in academic achievement and graduation rates, compared with just 31 percent of non-charter schools. The fact that Democratic lawmakers are getting behind charters likely means that low-income parents in Massachusetts like what they see and are demanding more.

Yes. As I’ve noted, when parents have alternatives, they get interested in them.