Students may be asked to submit a 15-page typed research paper, an original short story, or a handwritten essay on the historical figure they would most like to meet. There are interviews. Exams. And pages of questions for parents to answer, including: How do you intend to help this school if we admit your son or daughter?
These aren't college applications. They're applications for seats at charter schools.
Charters are public schools, funded by taxpayers and widely promoted as open to all. But Reuters has found that across the United States, charters aggressively screen student applicants, assessing their academic records, parental support, disciplinary history, motivation, special needs and even their citizenship, sometimes in violation of state and federal law.
1. The first comment on the article deserves emphasis:
These are not private schools. These are public schools. Public schools have no business demanding "applications." "We want to make sure our applicants are motivated," forsooth!
Reminds me of astronaut screening in the old days. "We have no idea what will make a good astronaut, so we're just going to make the candidates run through a minefield to test their motivation." Except, you know, astronaut training was never intended to be a public service for everyone.