Critics at the D.C. Public Charter School Board suggested that the rigorous new BASIS school in Washington, D.C. may be unable to “meet the needs of low-performing, English-language learners and special education students.” “Public charter school known for stressing hard work, depth of knowledge comes to Washington”, Olga Khazan, Washington Post, August 15, 2012 (also linked in an earlier post).
Rick Hess responds:
Arguing that DC should only welcome charters that have the mission of boosting proficiency in reading and math seems a surefire way of shortchanging kids who are capable of much more. Truth is, we need schools focused on basic proficiency and we need BASIS – we need schools that serve all students.
“BASIS and DC: Achievement Gap Mania Strikes Again”, Rick Hess, Straight Up blog (Education Week), August 16, 2012. Hess notes that BASIS is a public charter school, so anyone can enroll; how can that be elitist?