Exciting News: California Charter Schools the Best at Teaching Poor Kids

According to a report cited in the Los Angeles Times, 12 of the top-performing 15 schools in California that serve low-income students are charter schools (H/T Joanne Jacobs). Nearly all of them!

Number 1 on the list is the American Indian Public Charter run by the amazing Ben Chavis:

“These poor kids are doing well because we practice math and language arts,” [Chavis] said. “That’s it. It’s simple.”

He insisted that it is easier to teach poor students than more affluent ones because they are more motivated to succeed. “It’s the opposite of what everybody says,” he said. “It’s easier to do it with the poor kids and the minority kids because they have nothing, so they should be the highest.”

Asked why most educational researchers say the opposite, he said: “They’re liberal and lazy . . . and they see these kids as victims.”

Ben Chavis and his students are among the leading stars of the award-winning Flunked documentary. As you can imagine from his remarkable can-do attitude, Chavis has succeeded where the naysaying bureaucrats in the traditional education system have not.

Then you hear the ridiculous news that the school board in Memphis, Tennessee, has gone out of its way to reject a charter school proposal based on an existing, successful school (H/T Colorado Charters). It kind of makes me want to scream and pull my hair out.

Anyway, I’m proud to say Colorado has its own star charter schools that serve large amounts of poor students. I’m thinking of:

Why can’t more schools imitate their success? I don’t know, but it sure is exciting to hear California is seeing some similar results.

What isn’t so exciting is being told that I can’t go to this big Founders’ Night party tonight where all my friends in the Education Policy Center are going. Bummer. They tell me I’d think it’s boring and that it goes on past my bedtime, but I’m not quite buying it.