Press Release Releases Charter Schools: 5 Myths in 7 Minutes; Web video dispels charter myths, advances case for SRC to authorize more charter schools

Philadelphia, PA has released an informative new web video about charter schools, Charter Schools: 5 Myths in 7 Minutes. Narrated by spokesman and Boys’ Latin of Philadelphia CEO David Hardy, the video features several leading charter school principals refuting the arguments used to oppose charter schools. Featured principals include Jean Wallace of Green Woods Charter School; Naomi Johnson Booker of the Global Leadership Academy Charter School; Jim Higgins of the Multi-Cultural Academy Charter School; Veronica Joyner of the Mathematics, Civics & Sciences Charter School and Jack Carr of the String Theory Charter School.

Here are some of the myths and facts about charter schools in Philadelphia:

  1. Myth: School districts can’t afford more charter schools: The fact is that charter schools do more with less money, as they are given less money per student, and yet tens of thousands of families are on waiting lists for them anyway. Also, Philadelphia risks the loss of many new parents to the suburbs in search of better schools, which would further diminish the city’s tax base. Charter schools can keep them in town.
  2. Myth: Charter schools “cherry pick” the best students or kick out special needs students: The fact is that charter students are selected by random lottery, and special needs students are welcomed into an environment that tailors a curriculum to suit their individual needs. Many charter schools have an equal or higher percentage of special needs kids than the district. 
  3. Myth: Charter schools have no oversight: The fact is that charter schools operate under scrutiny from their authorizer, the School District of Philadelphia. Charter schools are also regulated by state and federal education departments. Charter schools are held to academic performance benchmarks that are never applied to traditional public schools.
  4. Myth: Philadelphia charter schools are private, for-profit companies: The fact is that Philadelphia’s charter schools are 501(c)3 non-profit organizations which means they have no stockholders and cannot make a profit. In many charter schools, a majority of the families served are low income and qualify for free and reduced price lunches.
  5. Myth: Philadelphia doesn’t need more charter schools: The fact is that Philadelphia families want the option of charter schools. There are close to 50,000 children on waiting lists to get out of traditional schools and into charter schools. Despite lower spending per student, some charter schools in Philadelphia have a 100% graduation rate.

“If you are a supporter of Philadelphia’s charter schools, watch this video to remind yourself why it is important for the School Reform Commission to authorize more charters and join us at the SRC meeting on Thursday night  If you’ve wondered whether charters are a good idea, watch this video  and it should answer some of your questions. Get the facts and you’ll see that there is no downside to parents having a choice about how their children are educated. We want to see some of the 50,000 children moved off the waiting list and into the charter school classroom that they want,” said spokesman David Hardy.

Bob Bowdon, Executive Director of Choice Media commented, “Unfortunately, some opponents of charter schools are willing to spread misinformation to prevent families from having a choice in the furtherance of their main goal — to make sure traditional public schools don’t face competition. And yet, parents are demanding alternatives to traditional public schools, and that’s reinvigorated the debate to authorize new charter schools in Philadelphia, as it has in other cities.  While the principals in this video are from Philadelphia, the issues are identical in Atlanta, New York, Chicago, Washington, DC. and most major cities.”

The campaign has gained the support of thousands of Philadelphia parents who want to learn more about moving their children into charter schools or accessing the tax credit scholarships. Their recent TV and radio ad campaign has been cited in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Public RecordPoliticoNational Review and the Wall Street Journal



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