Wednesday, April 23, 2014
You can like the concept of charters while detesting what they have become
Albert Shanker the often vilified by the right union leader is credited with coming up with the concept of charter schools, though his wife said he would be rolling over in his grave if he could see what they had become.
I find the original concept of charter schools very captivating too, parent teacher driven laboratories of innovation and experimentation, free of many of the regulations that suck the life out of teaching, where teachers help drive the curriculum and develop the policies. Unfortunately that’s not what the majority of charter schools are.
Instead they are profit centers for mercenary outfits more concerned with the bottom line and making a buck than educating our children. They offer dubious innovation and exclude many of the most difficult students. They often pick who they take and keep and don’t work with the needs of school districts to help fill them, instead working with the needs of their bank accounts which they want to become more and more filled. Teachers and parents fall between cogs and barely involved or consulted
The fantasy of charter schools is an attractive one; the reality however is a nightmare.