|Should charter schools be allowed|
to have barriers to admission?
"I thought I could do it," explained Marlena Johnson, a parent who failed to complete the application process. "I knew the dogs would be tough but what I didn't count on was that movie. I fell asleep ten minutes into it."
|Does cherry-picking students |
lead to higher test scores?
"These barriers to admission are a disgrace. More people got around the Berlin Wall than manage to get into these charter schools," complained Jerry T. Jordan, president of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. "And then people want to know why those schools perform better on standardized tests. It's because they rig the system - cherry-picking students."
Asked to explain why the process to get into a so-called public charter school was so difficult, Global's founder and Chief Executive Officer Ronald Mulla had this to say, "We stand by our application process. After all, it's called 'school-choice' for a reason. Our school is merely choosing which students are admitted."
Meanwhile just down the street from Global sits Andrew Jackson Elementary a real public school. It requires just three things before admitting a student: proof of address, age and vaccinations. "Basically we take everyone who comes through the door. We believe it's what public education is meant to do," said naive principal Mike Larts. Asked if he thought the application process might in some part be responsible for Global besting his students on last year's state exams, Mr. Larts shook his head, "I don't know, but it sure is hard to win the beauty contest when you've got all the ugly kids."
Interested in how we came to write this? Go to: Special Report: Class Struggle - How Charter Schools Get Students They Want and Green Woods Charter School and Others In Philadelphia Boast Questionable Application Processes