Detroit School Boss: Charter Schools Are ‘Disastrous’

While his own district is nation’s worst, charter students do measurably better

Nikolai Vitti, superintendent of Detroit’s school district, recently said that conventional public schools are the best place for a child to be educated, and charter schools have been “disastrous” for communities.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress has rated the Detroit Public Schools Community District as the worst urban school system in the country in 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015. The NAEP test is given every two years.

ForTheRecord says: Imagine a city in America where there was an NFL football team so poorly run, it had only won one playoff game dating back to 1957. While other teams win playoff games and even make the Super Bowl, this NFL team is generally regarded as the worst franchise in the league.

But then, another football franchise comes to this city and the new team is more successful. It takes disgruntled fans away from the older laughingstock franchise that continues to perform worse than the new team in town. But the owner of the failed franchise claims that this is “disastrous” for the league, when in fact, it’s only disastrous for its own troubled situation.

The NFL, of course, will not let another football team play in the city of Detroit other than the Lions.

But public charter schools are in Detroit, along with the district. And Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) has put a number on how they stack up against the district. Charter school students in Detroit, it said in 2015, learned the equivalent of a few weeks to as much as several months of extra instruction in reading and math compared to their peers in the city’s conventional public schools. CREDO said the charter schools in Detroit should serve as a model for other communities in the U.S.

Who you gonna believe?

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.