You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Letters

Targeted districts have reason to be wary of more charter schools

Your May 13 editorial “Where district schools falter, state should add more charters” names a number of school districts where it is believed that the current cap should be removed. According to the editorial, “the most telling testimony came from . . . Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes” study of Massachusetts charter schools. The editorial notes in passing that “charter foes . . . complain that charters don’t educate as large a percentage of English Language Learners, though that’s starting to change.”

It is certainly true that charter schools do not enroll ELL populations comparable to those of traditional school districts. However, what the Stanford study also shows is that charters do significantly worse in teaching ELL students how to read when compared with traditional school districts.

Continue reading below

On Page 27 of the study you cite there is a graph showing reading and math performance of ELLs in charter schools and traditional district schools. On Page 28 the study authors report their finding that in charter schools there are “significantly lower gains in reading” for ELL students when compared with traditional school districts.

This is of particular concern because many of the districts apparently targeted for charter expansion are precisely those districts that have large ELL student populations, such as Boston, Holyoke, Lawrence, Brockton, Worcester, Lowell, and Chelsea.

The data don’t support the conclusion that better education for ELLs in Massachusetts schools requires more and more charters. The “most telling” evidence in favor of charter expansion shows just the opposite.

Roger Rice

Executive director

Multicultural Education,

Training & Advocacy Inc.

Somerville

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.