New Hampshire: 8 out of 10 Failing High Schools Are Charter Schools

Low-performing charter schools in the U.S. are nothing new, they are everywhere. Recently, for example, 25% of charter schools in Duval County, Florida received a D or F, while 70% of North Carolina’s 200+ charter schools received a C or lower. In addition, more than 50% of the 65 charter schools in New Orleans are D and F schools. This has been a common pattern across the country for decades. These numbers are especially significant given the discriminatory enrollment practices found in many charter schools.

Recently, a New Hampshire newspaper reported that 8 out of the 10 lowest-performing high schools in the state are charter schools. These are deregulated, deunionized, segregated, low-transparency schools governed by unelected private persons. They are often sold as schools that will save kids that could not be saved by their “dreadful” public schools. Clearly, though, leaving public schools set up to fail by neoliberals only to enroll in outsourced contract schools set up by the same neoliberals is not benefitting education and society. Both the public schools set up to fail by neoliberals and the charter schools created by neoliberals are leaving millions of youth behind. Private interests are the only ones gaining from such an antisocial set-up. It is imperative to keep neoliberals and privatizers out of education and other spheres of life.

New Hampshire passed its charter school legislation in 1995 and currently has about 4,500 students enrolled in fewer than 40 charter schools operated by unelected private persons. The schools operate by siphoning millions of dollars a year from under-funded public schools. New Hampshire, moreover, allows about 50% of charter school teachers to teach without certification. The state places no limit on the number of charter schools allowed in the state, which means more charter schools will further deplete public funds from public schools. In addition, New Hampshire has no sanctions in place for charter school authorizers should they fail to carry out their responsibilities. And like charter schools in other states, charter schools in New Hampshire are deregulated and exempt from many public standards, rules, and laws upheld by public schools. They are also allowed to enter into arrangements with for-profit entities.

Shawgi Tell is author of the book Charter School Report Card. He can be reached at Read other articles by Shawgi.