Emily Kaplan: Are “No-Excuses” Charter Schools Harming Children’s Future Success?

Diane Ravitch's blog

Emily Kaplan taught second-grade in a “no-excuses” charter school, and now teaches in a public school. EduShyster offered her space on her blog to explain a very serious concern about the future of children who are pushed too hard and too early to master academic skills.

Every day in the charter school began with the recitation of a creed. Every child was required to “track” the teacher (with their eyes) and to dress precisely as the rule book decreed. Behavioral expectations were ironclad.

Kaplan writes:

This school is obsessed with success. Its students chant about it daily; its walls are plastered with banner-sized recipes in bold fonts and bright colors. And its proponents claim that, because it has the highest test scores in the state, it has achieved it.

These test scores don’t tell the whole story, of course, but they are also not meaningless. The school’s youngest students— children…

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