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Texas charter schools are performing well

posted Aug 30, 2017, 12:52 PM by Julian Casillas   [ updated Aug 30, 2017, 12:53 PM ]
The following Letter to the Editor was published in the El Paso Times on August 21 and can be found here: http://www.elpasotimes.com/story/opinion/2017/08/21/equestrian-statue-shameful-el-paso/580539001/
I was disappointed to read State Board of Education member Georgina Perez’s comments about charter schools since she represents El Paso public schools, including charters.
El Paso is home to charters of all kinds, serving students at 14 campuses ranging from dropout recovery charters to college preparatory schools. These charter schools are fully part of the state’s public education system and held to stricter accountability standards than traditional districts. Charters automatically close after three years of failing to meet academic or financial requirements.
Further, charter boards are accountable for continuing education and professional development and training standards; they are subject to both the Open Meetings Act and the Public Information Act.
Regarding performance, charter schools serve higher proportions of poor and minority students than ISDs and these students are achieving great outcomes. Stanford’s CREDO released a study showing that Texas students at charters are outperforming their district peers in reading and closed the gap in math. Notably, Hispanic students in poverty are faring better in both reading and math.
These outcomes are one reason that parents look for options within public education; they want to find the school that best meets the needs of their child. These students deserve representation by an SBOE member who recognizes them as part of the public education system.
Omar Yanar
Downtown El Paso