UCLA professor says time to examine value of charter schools

Los Angeles is among the target cities for a new federal effort to root out racial divides in public schools. UCLA education professor Gary Orfield says that should include a close look at charter schools.

Orfield co-directs the Civil Rights Project at UCLA. It released a study last month that found charter schools tend to be more racially isolated that traditional public schools.

He told KPCC’s Larry Mantle that the charter school movement is draining resources from public school districts.

"None of our teachers we graduated from UCLA this year were hired by the LAUSD because it has no money," said Orfield.

"They’re being hired by charter schools because the charter schools have money. We’ve had a whole group of teachers fired from the LAUSD because they have low seniority. We’re putting more money into this one system and taking it out of another. And we need to think about whether we’re getting increased value and what we’re losing"

Orfield says the question of resources is important because it’s not clear charter schools produce better-educated students.