(From THE BUFFALO NEWS, July 18, 2008)
By BRIENNE BELLAVITA
I am writing in regard to the July 6 News article “Buffalo’s charter schools post some of the city’s highest test scores.” State Board of Regents Chancellor Robert Bennett got it right when he asserted that charter schools are “no longer an experiment.” New York has experienced a steady growth of charter schools in recent years, with at least 20 new schools opening this fall, and with good reason. As the article noted, “as a whole, charters continue to significantly outperform the city’s traditional public schools.” This holds true not only for Buffalo, but for all of New York State.
Citizens are no longer willing to turn a blind eye to the failings of our public school system, and will no longer tolerate the frequent disregard for the education of minority and poor students. Thousands of parents have flocked to public charter schools, eager for their children to receive the quality education that many of these schools are offering.
We’re left to wonder why so many elected officials are reluctant to allow more city students to access these schools. Parents are starting to take notice of who is on their side and who is blocking opportunity for their children. It’s time for our elected officials to stand up against the status quo and start protecting the interests of our children.