No matter what kind of anti-charter school rhetoric UFT leaders choose to unleash, and no matter how many statistics they try to spin, there is one thing that they cannot ignore: the overwhelming parent demand for charter schools.
Families are desperate for better public school options, with an estimated 50,000 children statewide on waiting lists right now. Parents want the longer school day and school year and the orderly environment offered by many charters. They are fleeing traditional failing schools in droves for a reason. There have been promises of improvement for decades — it never comes. Billions of dollars have been invested — with no major restructuring or changes.
Charters offer accountability and a chance at swift improvement. Charters offer parents hope. The UFT can try to contend with the many high-quality research studies showing the charter sector outperforms districts by claiming the statistics are skewed, but the truth is charters are outperforming their host districts no matter which way you look at the numbers.
Families are the ones who feel the pain when schools fail, and parents are voting with their feet for a chance for a better future for their kids.
This letter originally appeared on New York Daily News.