Tuesday, June 05, 2012

The cost of appeasing the other side

I'm willing to give the captains of Metro Nashville Public Schools the benefit of the doubt, and believe that their embrace of charter schools to this point has been an attempt to save, not destroy public education. The only thing is that the conservative champions of charter schools, vouchers, and private subsidies are intent not on saving public education but burying it in the graveyard of privatization.

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.

1 comment:

  1. Families should be informed that kids will lose their legal rights and protections in privately managed/public charters.

    Not that it makes any difference to the charter cheerleaders, but the data on charters as educationally superior to public schools is pretty ugly.

    NJ,like TN DoEd will not release the raw data or independent summary analyses,so Bruce Baker at Rutgers took the NJ state report card and ran controlled comparisons. He has the ability to make regression analyses understandable to most so I suggest reading the entire post. http://schoolfinance101.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/new-jersey-charter-data-roundup-a-look-at-the-2010-11-report-cards/

    Can someone remind me again why we're funneling public money to these unaccountable, ineffective child factories?