by Dr. Terry Stoops
Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
In an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal, Baker Mitchell, founder of the North Carolina-based Roger Bacon Academy charter schools, confronts charges that North Carolina charters are producing resegregation. Mitchell writes,
Charges of racism are intended to divert attention from the failure of traditional public schools to educate minority children. According to the most recent Charter Schools Annual Report to the North Carolina General Assembly, published in February, charter-school students at virtually every grade level and in virtually all student subgroups—white, African-American, Hispanic, economically disadvantaged, students with disabilities, and students with limited English proficiency—outperformed traditional public-school students in English, math and science at the end of the school year. The sole exception was high-school math scores, where results were mixed.
Mitchell’s four charter schools are top performers, despite the fact that 40 percent or more of the students come from lower-income households. He attributes those results to a “classical curriculum, direct-instruction methods, additional instructional hours, and focus on orderliness.”