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Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Chicken or the Egg, public verses charter school debate

I am a public school guy. I think we need to do right by our pubic schools, have multiple curriculums, instill discipline, respect teachers and allow them to have autonomy and use creativity. You know the basics and sadly the things we aren’t doing now. I think if we were to do this short list and a few others we could sit back and watch our education system soar and do so quite rapidly. However if we did what was right, what we are supposed to be doing and it didn’t work, well then I will be the first to admit we should try something else, something like charter schools.

I have never heard a good argument for charter schools; statistics say they do no better than public schools, despite the fact they are blessed with autonomy and are allowed to play by different rules. Nope, I have never heard a good argument in favor of charter schools, until the other day that is.

I gave my schpeel to this charter school guy. I am sure my voice rising at the appropriate places. I am so frustrated at what the powers-that-be are attempting to transform education into and to his credit he sat there and listened. When I was done he said, and that’s exactly why we need charter schools.

I said, huh, more than a little confused.

We need charter schools, he started, because the powers-that-be have refused to treat public education as it is important and furthermore they have meddled to the point that teaching and education today do not look anything like it did a generation ago. I agree with all your points Chris, he continued, and that’s why we need charter schools. It’s because what’s right is not going on in public schools and it should be going on at least somewhere.

Wow I thought, finally a charter school argument I could wrap my mind around. What’s right in education should at least be happening somewhere, if not in public schools, then at least somewhere.

Like I said, I could wrap my mind around his argument but I was still not sold. You see I believe that we could do right by public education. We could make the changes, most of would not break the bank or reinvent the wheel, that would greatly and quickly improve things. We, society that is could be doing what is right.

Though I will be the first to admit, that if society continues to shirk it’s responsibility and continues to allow the powers-that-be in their far off ivory towers further erode education, well then we will have to try something else.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry...not impressed with his argument.

    How about reforming and supporting public schools, not trying to kill them.