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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Corporate education reformers aren’t above being deceptive.

I like to think if Charters were doing better and they paid and treated their teachers well, I would be for them. However that’s not the case. That though doesn’t stop the ed reformers from selling their defective products.

Take former Florida education Jim Horne for example. After leaving the commissioner job he took his 30 pieces of silver and found a gig in the charter school industry and now he has proceeded to sell them and facts be damned.

“It is interesting now after 18 years of Florida charter schools when we have statistical data that clearly shows that Florida charter schools are outperforming district managed schools in most grade levels and gaining increasing market share that suddenly we see legislation that is aimed at severely limiting the growth of charter schools,’’ Horne said in an email. “In other words, if you can’t compete with them then let’s just stop them from opening in the first place.”

Where do I start, well first there is no clear statistical data that says charters as a group, despite numerous advantages, are performing any better, though with almost 250 having closed over the years you would expect the group to improve somewhat. Though the Stanford Credo charter school study says thy do worse.

Then just yesterday Doug Tuthill from step up for Students the group that is paid millions in public money to manage Florida’s voucher program that districts should not compete with charter schools and vouchers. Most charter school advocates aren’t interested in playing fair nor are they interested in doing what’s best for children. They just want to see them spread unchecked and damn the consequences. I wonder if there was any restriction despite repeated failure they would find reasonable.

I am not a charter school guy but even I think they have a limited role to replace as a supplement to our public schools, not the replacements for that many who by the way are also profiting off of them think they should be. Furthermore there are so many bad Charter schools that the entire industry gets one black eye after another when they close or continuously do poorly. Even charter school advocates should want reasonable restrictions because they protect the good charter schools from the cadre of people operating them just to make a buck.

But back to my original point, how do these people try and sell them and the other corporate reforms with a straight face, none including merit pay and odious teacher evaluations have any proof they work and often have evidence saying they don’t. 

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