Worcester (MA) charter schools

CHARTER SCHOOLS FOUND LACKING ON LEARNING GAP; March 18, 2011; Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) 
WORCESTER —  Data from two local charter schools showed the School Committee last night that the two schools are not likely to help solve the achievement gap in this city, one of the goals the governor cited when he supported legislation to increase the number of charter schools in the state.

Information was presented on students at the newly opened Spirit of Knowledge Charter School, which serves Grades 7-9. The district found data on 85 percent of the school’s students from when they were Worcester public school students and found that those students scored higher on the MCAS exams than the district average. In other words, Chief Research and Accountability Officer David Perda said, the schools took “the more academically able.”

Committee member Jack L. Foley made the obvious prediction. “We should not be surprised if their MCAS scores are higher than our average score and they claim success,” he said.

That, in turn, would be used to justify the charter movement, said Mayor Joseph C. O’Brien. “This is not about closing the achievement gap. This is about ... creating elite opportunities for successful students.”…

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