David Hornbeck was superintendent of schools in Philadelphia from 1994 to 2000. During that time, he approved 30 charter schools, hoping they would improve education for the city’s students. Twenty years later, he admits he was wrong.
Now he realizes that charters are not education reform. They are a change of governance. They get mixed results.
“In some evaluations, charter schools overall actually underperform regular public schools.”
As Philadelphia’s Superintendent of Schools, I recommended the approval of more than 30 charter schools because I thought it would improve educational opportunity for our 215,000 students. The last 20 years make it clear I was wrong.
Those advocating change in Maryland’s charter law through proposed legislation are equally committed to educational improvement. They are equally wrong. New policy should not build on current inequities and flawed assumptions, as the proposed charter law changes would do.
Mixed academic results: Charters, on the whole, do not result in significant improvement in student performance. It’s mixed at best. In some evaluations, charter schools overall actually underperform regular public schools.