Throwing around numbers on charter schools | Arkansas Blog

Throwing around numbers on charter schools


A popular refrain of the Walton charter school lobby and its cheerleaders at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette editorial page is to cite the numbers eStem Charter School claims on a waiting list for its school. But let's look at that waiting list.

There's never been an analysis of the numbers to see if the list is built afresh each year or to analyze the list for school of origin, race, income, current education attainment and the like. Those numbers would be a way to demonstrate not only that the list is both accurate but that it is also a reflection of the desire  of failing students to leave failing educational circumstances. The Little Rock School District knows in many cases of losses of students achieving academically who've transferred from schools that are judged as meeting standards. That doesn't mean parents might not have additional valid reasons to transfer, but it would mean the broad brush with which the rabid charterites try to paint LRSD is, at least, unfair.

This one thing stands out for those who believe in arithmetic: The D-G this morning repeats the claim of a 6,000-student waiting list at eStem and the assertion that more than 4,000, or better than 66%, are black students.

How is it that a school with 66 percent black applicants, where admission is said to be based on an unbiased lottery system,  has a student body that is 45% black?

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