If You Want a Safe School, Opt for a Charter

Read this piece at Manhattan Institute


If You Want a Safe School, Opt for a Charter by Max Eden

In the wake of the tragic school stabbings that killed one student and critically injured another, parents across the city are asking: Are my kids safe at school — and if not, how can I keep them safe?

To answer that, I analyzed student and teacher answers to safety-related questions on the NYC School Survey. And in a forthcoming Manhattan Institute report, I show how the data provide a clear answer: If you want your kids to be safer, try to get them into a charter school.

The report compares charter schools to their three closest district school neighbors serving similar grades. For middle and high schools, each school’s safety score was the average of six seminal safety questions: whether they feel safe in their classrooms and hallways, and whether they see fights, bullying, drugs and gangs as a problem.

For elementary schools, which don’t ask students questions, I rely on teacher perception of order and discipline.

When a charter school’s student safety index falls within 5 percentage points of the district schools, or teacher response falls within 10 points, the school is deemed similarly safe; above those cutoffs, a charter is considered safer, and below it’s considered less safe.


Read the entire piece here at New York Post, originally appearing on October 15, 2017.


Max Eden is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Follow him on Twitter here.