What helps disadvantaged students: No-excuses charters vs. income integration?
University of Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax has a provocative lead essay in the latest issue of National Affairs that warrants thoughtful attention by all concerned with boosting the educational opportunities of poor and minority youngsters. (Isn’t that just about everyone in education these days?)
She compares and contrasts the “no excuses” model of charter schools with sundry “diversity” initiatives—mainly socio-economic mixing à la Rick Kahlenberg—and finds the former possibly more effective and definitely more politically viable. “Educational efficacy,” she writes, “is not the only consideration in deciding which of these strategies should be favored and how much society should invest in each. In assessing the feasibility of these models, pragmatic and political considerations loom large.”