Some research suggests that charter schools perform no better than existing public schools. And even if we wanted to, it would be nearly impossible to take the charter movement to scale. So why are the billionaire "disruptors" of the hedge-fund world so hell-bent on establishing charter schools? Money and influence may help to explain it.
This summer will mark the 10 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. But it also marks the start of an ambitious effort to break up New Orleans' long-beleaguered public school system and replace it with a market-based system in which charter schools compete for customers, in this case students and parents, and for top test scores.
I've resisted this notion for a long time. The money, I liked to say, belongs to the taxpayers, who have used it to create a school system that serves the entire community by filling that community with well-educated adults. But hey-- maybe I've been wrong.
It is some sort of amazing Jedi mind trick -- citizens and taxpayers are looking right past the causes of schools' financial problems and deciding to blame it all on local school boards.
In Oklahoma and other states, market-driven school reform has failed. It is a wounded bear. A wounded bear is more dangerous, however. In their last gasps, national corporate reformers are counterattacking. As competition-driven reformers come out of the shadows, however, even more stakeholders will rally and defend public education.
Contractors use those loopholes as justification to hide basic public information from taxpayers including the fees they charge the public, how they spend public funds, and the details on the quality of public services they are paid to provide.
No doubt you have many questions about the pro bono-ists' civil-rights-based challenge to the state's cap on the number of charter schools. As always, I am happy to shed light.
The political debate about charters is not likely to wane anytime soon. But parents can't wait for that to play out. It is past time to end our patchwork system of financing school facilities and make it easier for high-performing charter schools to give more kids a chance to succeed.
Democracy, opportunity, and shared responsibility are core, if sometimes contested, and not yet realized, aspirational American values. We need a society in which there is not just more equal opportunity, but more lived equity.
With the future of our students at risk, it's time to finally hold our charter school authorizers accountable for the public education they are providing our children.
A recent article notes that the TFA program is "suddenly having recruitment problems." The article reveals that applications are down 10 percent, yet the demand for recruits from the program "is extremely high," according to the co-chief executive of Teach for America.
Even though the states with the high teacher union rates get better results than the states with the low rates, conservatives still pretend that unions are somehow ruining public education.
To what extent can public charter schools can learn from some of the best ideas that undergird our nation's most outstanding, innovative private schools? It was this question that led the founding principal and executive director of a new, not-yet-opened charter school to spend a few days in the bucolic Pennsylvania countryside late last fall.
Though I support students, teachers, and leaders of charter schools through my work at the University of Arkansas, I won't support charters and disagree with the President's calls for charter expansion for three central reasons.
In a town like Chicago, "choice" isn't a right, but a privilege based on income, class, and skin color.
I spoke with Soto about Harlem's educational landscape and how she organized other educators and parents to create an IB framework charter school, Sofara International. We also spoke about racial and socioeconomic isolation for students and the difficulty she's faced to charter Sofara International.