Alternet - According to a new, nationwide poll, Americans overwhelmingly want public charter schools to be more accountable, have less selective admissions policies, employ better-trained teachers, and refrain from harming traditional local schools by siphoning away precious taxpayer funds. Overall, the poll shows wide support for regulating many aspects of the school privatization movement.
“Americans embrace proposals to reform the way charter schools are authorized and managed,” said a report by GBA Strategies, which conducted the poll of 1,000 registered voters in January for two groups that have documented fiscal malfeasance by charter operators, In The Public Interest and the Center for Popular Democracy. “The public overwhelmingly supports initiatives to strengthen charter school accountability and transparency, improve teacher training and qualifications, prevent fraud, serve high-need students and ensure that neighborhood public schools are not adversely affected.”
The report began by noting that two-thirds of voters give traditional public schools and public school teachers high ratings, with almost twice as many voters saying the schools in their neighborhoods are getting better, rather than worse. Seventy-two percent had favorable views of public school teachers, compared to 9 percent with unfavorable views.