In a piece criticizing school choice advocate — and future secretary of education — Betsy DeVos, an op-ed from the New York Times slams charter schools in Detroit.

Douglas N. Harris, a professor of economics at Tulane University and a nonresident senior fellow at The Brookings Institution, writes, “One well-regarded study found that Detroit’s charter schools performed at about the same dismal level as its traditional public schools.”

ForTheRecord says: No it didn’t find that.

The study linked is from Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes. Here is an excerpt from the report: “Charter students in the city of Detroit (27 percent of the state’s charter students), are performing even better than their peers in the rest of the state, on average gaining nearly three months achievement for each year they attend charter schools.”

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Detroit Prep is a top-rated and economically and racially diverse charter school in the city. It's growth means it needs to move out from a church basement and into a new location. Nearby is a former Detroit Public Schools building, sitting empty for years. But, worried about competition, the public school district refused to sell. For years, district and local government officials in Detroit had worked to block public charter schools. They pushed legislation at the Michigan Capitol to hinder them, refused to sell to them, transferred surplus buildings from the district to the city government and imposed deed restrictions on property sales to private developers. All of it was aimed to hinder or even prevent charter school choice outside the confines of the Detroit school district.

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