Why the Gap? English Language Learners and New York City Charter Schools

Findings from recent empirical research leave little doubt that students attending a New York City charter school—public schools of choice operating independently of the surrounding district—perform better, on average, than they would had they attended a traditional public school. But important questions about the inclusiveness of charter schools remain. In particular, a common complaint about charter schools in New York City and elsewhere is that they fail to adequately enroll difficult-to-educate students, such as special-education students and those learning English. As public schools, charters are legally (and, arguably, morally) required to educate all types of students who wish to enroll.

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