Charter schools have proved successful at educating underserved children in places such as New Orleans and Washington, D.C.

So successful, in fact, that advocates of charter schools, which are publicly funded but privately run, are exporting the education model across the globe, including to war-ravaged Liberia, on the West African coast.

Liberia’s schools are terrible, and that’s no surprise given that the county has endured two civil wars and, more recently, the Ebola epidemic, which killed thousands there.

According to the Economist, just 13 students out of 15,000 passed the University of Liberia’s entrance exam in 2014. That was an improvement. Nobody passed the exam in 2013.

George Werner, Liberia’s education minister, has been enacting some reforms, including, last September, launching a pilot project that is establishing charter schools throughout the country. Partnership Schools for Liberia has eight operators (including three for-profit organizations) that now run 93 public schools in the country.

Just like charters in the United States, PSL is under fire from teachers’ union groups that are concerned about cost and PSL’s focus on small classes (it limits classroom size to 65 students), which they say may prompt some schools to select only the brightest students.

But a randomized controlled trial run by an international non-profit should settle whether the schools are cost effective or discriminating against less clever pupils.

Meanwhile, Werner is undeterred: Last month he announced that PSL will expand by another 100 schools or more.

Daniel Allott is deputy commentary editor for the Washington Examiner

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