We can present a real cause for optimism that we can realize the promise of Brown v. Board of Education in our lifetime: In the past few years we have started a pair of Hebrew-language charter schools in Harlem and Brooklyn that have quietly and quickly become two of the most integrated public elementary schools in the city.
I confess to a momentary confusion when I read the headlines that all of New Orleans' traditional schools had closed and it is now an "all-charter" city.
The most fundamental part of local control is the community definition of what a working school looks like.
Educators are more than happy to take personal responsibility for their actions. What they aren't willing to do is take the fall for the failure of legislators and parents which is exactly what this legislation makes them do.
How choice feels depends on where you live, and how high (or low) the levels of trust, transparency, and cross-sector collaboration are in those communities. Period.
We all have a stake in public education. We all pay taxes to support public education. And we all get to vote on who will manage the operation of our schools (well, unless we are in occupied territories like Philadelphia or Newark). School choice throws all of that out the window.
The purpose of vouchers is to enable students to escape "failing" schools. Ironic how the predominately-charter Recovery School District has the greatest concentration of such "failing" schools in the entire state of Louisiana.
One primary of note is in a State Senate race here in New York, and it has already attracted national attention, as well as mine, as it involves my State Senate district. This race is, in many ways, a microcosm of what is wrong with our political process nationally.
Conservatives often claim they are big fans of school choice. I think they're wrong. I don't mean that I want to disagree with them using fluffy progressive liberal arguments. I mean that in the world of conservative values and goals, school choice really doesn't fit. Let me explain.
The debate over the impact of charter schools is prominent both across the country and closer to home in Chicago. Are charter schools part of the solution for struggling public school systems, or are they part of the problem for the struggles?
Teacher Appreciation Day, Field Day, spring concerts, sports competitions and awards ceremonies, plays, debates, school applications and testing, test...
Despite its checkered history, National Heritage Academies continues to expand. In Tennessee, it is one of the major supporters of a law that will allow for profit charter school companies to operate in the state. The question remains. Why is this charter school management company still in business?
Despite the call for "all deliberate speed," generations later, we are still waiting. In urban areas especially, a high-quality education remains out of reach for too many low-income and working class students. But there is hope.
Banks and equity funds that invest in charter schools in underserved areas can take advantage of a very generous tax credit, which they can combine with other tax breaks while they also collect interest on any money they lend out. Doing this, they can double their money in seven years.
As a high school teacher and professor I've often dreamt of having my own high school, one designed in the spirit of all of my ideas about what education should and shouldn't be. My pretend school is called the Progressive Institute of Student Awesomeness (PISA).