Dan Siegel: Charter Schools Are Not The Answer To Oakland's Public School Crisis

The debate over charter schools is waged on misleading and superficial grounds. According to the dominant narrative, the charter school discussion pits incompetent teachers championed by corrupt unions against sincere, committed parents fighting for a decent education for their children in safe, clean schools. 

Reality is much more complicated. Public education is in crisis. Many children, especially low income children of color, are poorly served by public schools. But charter schools are no better. A recent study concludes that about 30 percent of charter schools out­perform public schools with comparable student bodies, while another 30 percent perform less well than the public schools. We can also identify many examples of successful schools, both public and charter.