August 2, 2016

Why charter schools are a problem

Washington Post

When Hillary Clinton mentioned public charter schools in her speech to the National Education Association earlier this month, she was greeted with some boos. Her remarks about sharing “what works” seemed innocuous enough.  So why did the teachers in attendance react so strongly?

The obvious answer is the charter sector’s distaste for collective bargaining.  But the antipathy directed at charters runs deeper than that. Charters, regardless of their original intent, have become a threat to democratically governed, neighborhood public schools, and questions about their practices, opacity and lack of accountability are increasing as their numbers grow.


Anonymous said...

The 25-year timeline of charters dates to a Business Roundtable white paper describing public schools as a revenue stream on which bidness should get its hands.

k.h.brown said...

Unfortunately, the educational reform movements inspired by great educators like Paulo Freire ("Pedagogy of the Oppressed") that parents like us acted on became co-opted by money grubbing corporations and they disassembled the movement into a "name" similar to Trump University (gag) - all hot air and none of the substance. What a pitty - but never forget, our vested interests (our children) graduated from the very wonderful child-centered education into adults - and we parents followed our next vested interest. And the vultures moved in to consume the carcasses left behind - Re-formed schools chartered in every state but far from what we created as educational reform.
Learning is lifelong but "education" can become one more authority which we allow to be the "validating" factor in our lives.

Anonymous said...

"The 25-year timeline of charters dates to..."

It dates to way earlier than anon 1:05 PM suggests. This being merely an aspect of the overall assault upon public education, might it be suggested the timeline be extended back at least some twenty years more to 1971? !971 is the year Louis Powell issued his notorious memorandum focusing attacks, among other things, upon public education.

Anonymous said...

I believe the concept of charter schools began in Milwaukee WI, as an initiative within the inner-city where the community felt disenfranchised within its own schools by a white majority board and carpetbagger superintendents and a teachers' union that was deaf to the matter. Polly Williams, a firebrand and eventually a state legislator, led a coalition that got the attention of the ultra-right Bradley Foundation and the Joyce Foundation to seize on the opportunity to "globalize" the concept of charter schools. The voucher concept came soon after. That's how I remember it, anyway.

Victor Berger and the other Milwaukee's German Socialist leaders are rolling in their graves.