As noted in the recent Wait, What? articles entitled, Hartford Charters fail to accept and educate Latinos and English Language Learners and Bridgeport Charter Schools Discriminate Against Connecticut Children, the privately owned and operated, but publicly funded, charter schools located in Hartford and Bridgeport discriminate against Latino students, those who require assistance learning the English language and students who need special education services.
Data collected by the Connecticut State Department of Education further reveals that charter schools in New Haven are equally bad when it comes to accepting and educating their fair share of students who require these additional services.
Unlike true public schools that must accept every student that comes through the door, charter schools use a variety of underhanded and deceptive techniques to prevent a variety of needy students from enrolling in their schools, or once enrolled, use harsh disciplinary policies and other push-out strategies to rid their schools of what they perceive to be unwanted students.
The numbers are stark and disturbing. The following chart highlights the level of discrimination in New Haven’s charter schools.
|New Haven||% English Language Learners||% Special Education|
|New Haven Public Schools||14%||13%|
|Booker T Washington Charter||0%||0%|
|Common Ground Charter||0%||17%|
|Elm City Montessori Charter||0%||0%|
|Achievement First Inc. – Elm City Charter||5%||6%|
|Achievement First Inc. – Amistad Charter||11%||5%|
The data further indicates that like charter schools in Hartford and Bridgeport, New Haven’s charter schools use what should be illegal tactics to push out certain students who might bring down their standardized test scores.
For example, Achievement First Inc. Amistad charter school in New Haven suspends English Language Learners at a rate 333% more than New Haven Public Schools, and
Achievement First Inc. Amistad suspends special education students 238% more than New Haven Public Schools
Under Connecticut law, local public schools must serve all the range of students that make up their community, but Charter Schools repeatedly fail when it comes to serving their fair share of students who require additional services.
Meanwhile, Connecticut’s public schools go without the resources they need from the state, while Governor Dannel Malloy and the Connecticut General Assembly shovel more than $110 million a year to Connecticut’s charter school industry.