Even so progressive education reformers still seek to compromise; they find spots and resources for charter schools. But it is a slippery slope. To put it another way, support for charter schools allows the camel's nose to duck under the tent flap. After that, there is nothing to bar the rest of the beast from coming in the tent.
So, why should they be surprised?
School Board Chair Gracie Porter says she was “somewhat shocked” by how “aggressively” the state is moving on charter approvals. She says as charters pull funding away from the district, “we are still expected to perform as the same level, even with less dollars.”
At the same time, Porter wanted to make clear: “Metro School Board is not against charters. We want the best charters that we can possibly have. And we also want our children across the district – not just in charters but across the district – to really be successful. Oftentimes we hear that it’s us-and-them. I don’t view our system as us-and-them.
Rather than feeling wounded or victimized, we must quickly learn the lesson that there is no compromise on public education. Charters prepare the way for further privatization of public education. For Ms. Porter to respond as she did to the distinct probability of politics in red-state Tennessee was unrealistic. And simply trying to restate a liberal Janus-faced approach that invites charters, but not too many charters, is setting oneself up to be beat in the future.