Putting a stop to competition from charter schools is one of the goals of the American Federation of Teachers. Evidence has been coming in that charters help minority kids academically, however.
And now we are getting a report that indicates kids are also safer in charter schools.
Max Eden has analyzed data from New York charter schools for a forthcoming report to be issued by the Manhattan Institute. His conclusion: If you want your kid to be safe, find a charter.
Eden looked at safety-related questions on the NYC School Survey. Eden writes in today's New York Post:
The results are most striking at the middle-school level. Twenty-seven charter schools are safer than most of their district-school neighbors, 24 are similar and three are less safe. At the elementary level, 24 charter schools are safer, 20 are similar and 12 are less safe. And at the high-school level, 14 charters are safer, 18 are similar and eight are less safe.
While every charter school is different, and the advantage is not universal, the conclusion is unmistakable: From a parent’s perspective, a charter school is frequently the safest option in the neighborhood.
Charter opponents may allege that this neighbor-to-neighbor analysis misses the fact that charters can serve different kinds of students. But so far as basic demographic factors go, charter schools enjoy an across-the-board advantage.
District schools display a sad consistency: The more poor kids, disabled kids, black kids or Hispanic kids a school has, the less safe students there feel.
But charter schools have broken the link between poverty and school order; the trend there is actually slightly positive: The higher the concentration of students in poverty at a charter school, the safer those students feel. And after controlling for poverty, disability and race, charter schools still retain a statistically significant safety advantage.
Opponents may yet allege that charter students are different in ways you can’t statistically observe. And perhaps that plays a role. But there’s little doubt that charter schools are different because charter leaders have the freedom to hold students to clear and high standards.
I bolded the sentences that highlight something very important: charter schools don't rely on fact that many kids come from disadvantaged households as an excuse for not creating a safe environment.
If the American Federation of Teachers regarded the welfare of kids as important as preserving teacher benefits, it would try to see what lessons it could learn from the charters rather than trying to kill a movement that benefits kids, and especially kids from low-income households.