The controversy aroused by KIPP DC’s proposal to build a high school on public land in Southwest Washington [Metro, March 12], with expedited city transfer of the land, highlights the negative consequences of allowing even a good charter operator to fill a geographic education void.

While KIPP DC says it is open to a neighborhood admissions preference, the charter school industry’s opposition to universal neighborhood enrollment should remind D.C. officials that charter schools do not operate under the real-world conditions that traditional public schools face. Until charter schools enroll and retain all neighborhood children, regardless of educational or behavioral history or parental commitment, they can hardly be seen as a replacement for the government’s obligation to ensure universal education for children in all the city’s neighborhoods.

Stephen McLaughlin, Washington