QOD: Moran on Newark Public Schools' Collaboration with Charter Schools

Tom Moran considers Newark Superintendent Cami Anderson’s decision to create a “universal enrollment plan”for the city’s charter schools and traditional schools. Currently aspiring charter school students apply independently for spots; Anderson’s plan would route all students through a district-wide menu of choices. Eighty percent of charter schools have agreed to participate.
This is why Anderson is in a rush. She fears that if admissions to charter schools remain a free-for-all, with each charter recruiting its own students, her doomsday scenario will become reality. The toughest kids will be concentrated in district schools, creating a new hurdle for the students.
It would be perverse indeed if the charter movement had that effect. Most of the people running these schools are driven by the desire to bring new opportunity to urban kids trapped in failing districts. That’s why most swallowed their hesitations and signed up for Anderson’s new system.
“The bottom line is this is about equity,” she says. “Those without time, without a car and without the ability to push back in the face of bureaucracy, they tend not to exercise choice.”

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