In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio has indicated plans of charging charter schools rent for sharing space with traditional public schools. Many argue that co-location threatens student performance in public schools.
In an opinion piece for the New York Daily News, a new report for the Manhattan Institute reveals that academic achievement is not harmed when public schools share space with charter schools:
I find no evidence that co-locations in New York City — whether with other traditional public schools or with charter schools — have any discernible impact on student achievement within traditional public schools. This result is consistent across various measures for the existence and magnitude of co-location.
Perhaps space-sharing arrangements produce discomfort for traditional public schools. But any inconveniences, if they exist, do not appear to manifest themselves in lower student learning within traditional public schools.
The question facing the mayor, then, is whether exposing traditional public schools to what is sometimes a mild nuisance that does not impact the achievement of their students outweighs the enormous benefits achieved by the kids attending one of the city’s co-located charter schools?
That’s an easy question to answer for anyone primarily interested in ensuring that New York’s schoolkids receive the best public education possible. It should be easy for Mayor de Blasio, too.