If you ask most people in Bed-Stuy’s District 16 why they think enrollment is falling, chances are they’ll point to charter schools: privately managed public schools, which have been on the rise in New York City for more than a decade.
Charter schools were originally dreamed up to be laboratories for innovation in public education. Instead, many see them as a threat — competing with neighborhood schools for space, resources, and kids. Is this really a zero-sum game?
In this episode, we talk to parents and educators on both sides of the district-charter divide to explore why charter schools seem especially polarizing in a Black neighborhood like Bed-Stuy, and what the growth of charter schools means for the future of this community.