For many parents and students, being accepted to a charter school is a blessing; many offer a free programs as good as costly private schools.
However, a recent NY Times article questions how much better charter schools are than public schools. Though, in general, charter schools have better test results and graduation rates, recent studies question whether these improvements are due to a more efficient school or a hand-picked student body. Many charter schools have very strict codes of conduct, and ask students to leave for only minor breaches. One mother reports her son was being kept after school to learn how to walk through the halls properly.
Moreover public schools take the main burden of teaching special education and English as a second language students. Generally, only 10% of charter school students are special ed and 2% are English learners; public schools are generally 23% and 13% respectively. These differences, claim critics, are the foundation for the charter schools' better overall results. Charter school advocates claim that strict intensive school days create a need for discipline and the disparities in the student body makeup are being worked on.
Do you think charter schools should be more lenient with students? Should there be a quota for minority and special ed students?