Hold charters — and traditional public schools — accountable

To the editor: In supporting comprehensive legislation to make sure charter schools in California “fulfill their promise of superior education,” The Times gets close to the heart of the argument about public schooling. It just misses one essential element: Why stop at charters? (“Charter-school reforms we need, and one we don't,” editorial, May 13)

As The Times states, charters serve as educational models and, especially in Los Angeles, successfully educate low-income students of color and narrow our country’s persistent achievement gap. They give families choices and provide competition for traditional public schools, which are now responding with their own reforms.

While not every charter succeeds, neither does every traditional school. But they all should, and we should accept only excellence from them.

So instead of encouraging our state’s leaders to focus only on charters, The Times should encourage a comprehensive look at all public education to determine what works and what doesn’t — whether in charters, magnets or traditional schools.

Cristina de Jesus, Los Angeles

The writer is president and chief executive of Green Dot Public Schools California.


To the editor: Although the first half of the editorial praised charter schools as “proving that low-income students of color can and do achieve,” the second half listed the ways that selective charter admission policies keep certain students from even attempting to enroll, as stated in the 2016 ACLU report.

What the editorial should have concluded is that these selective charter policies most definitely have a positive effect on test scores but also leads to negative effects on traditional schools, which have no admissions policies and must enroll all students who appear at their doors, making any comparison of test scores between the two virtually impossible.

Sari Rynew, Studio City

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