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Vote yes on Question 2 for education success

Melvin B. Miller
Vote yes on Question 2 for education success
“With all the ugly things that Trump said about blacks, I can’t wait to vote and let him know what I think of him.” (Photo: Dan Drew)

WBUR opinion polls indicate that 52 percent of Massachusetts citizens will vote “no” on Question 2, which involves the right of 12 new charter schools to be established in the state each year. However, 53 percent of non-white voters support the measure. With 66 percent of charter school students non-white, a greater “yes” vote from blacks and Latinos should be expected.

Of course all charter schools are not equally successful, but some produce outstanding academic results. For example, the students at Boston’s Edward W. Brooke Charter Schools excelled on the 2015 PARCC exams. This is a national test given to students in Massachusetts and several other states. Brooke’s grade 3 through 8 students scored the greatest percentage at the highest level (Level 5) of any public school in Massachusetts.

With 85 percent of Brooke students at Level 5 in math and English language PARCC tests, the Boston Public Schools scored only 34 percent and 39 percent, respectively, in these exams. In fact, more black Brooke students topped the math test than the total number of black students achieving that result in grades 3 through 8 in all Boston Public Schools. At Brooke, 109 black students attained Level 5 in math compared to only 75 in the whole BPS system.

Despite such extraordinary academic results and large waiting lists for admission to charter schools, opponents are aggressively critical. Although admissions are by lottery, critics object to what they consider to be a high rate of students dropping out. However, there were no such complaints decades ago when only one-third of Boston Latin School students entering in grade 7 would survive academically to graduate.

Affluent parents send their children to expensive private or parochial schools. Charter schools now provide another choice within financial reach of every family.