January 1, 2013

Philadelphia charter school expansion crushing public schools

Common Dreams - Charter school expansion in Philadelphia has 37 public schools—nearly one in six—slated for the chopping block come June, and has sparked outrage in local communities.

Critics of the mass school closures plan argue that it will take students away from their own communities, that there is no proof the students will receive better education, and that it is ultimately a privatization plan that siphons money away from public institutions and puts it into charter schools.

The New York Times called the plan "an unprecedented downsizing" that would affect "17,000 students and more than 1,100 teachers."

The Times continues:
The proposed cuts — which are scheduled to be voted on in March by the School Reform Commission, a state organization that oversees the district — have ignited angry protests from teachers, students and parents. They argue that children, particularly in their elementary years, should not be forced to attend school outside their neighborhoods; that academic improvements would be disrupted; and that students attending new schools would be victimized because of longstanding inter-neighborhood rivalries.

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