Williamson County Superintendent Mike Looney told reporters yesterday that he does not want charter schools in his school district because they dilute the resources that the public schools have. So, the focus in Williamson is not on "choice", but on "infrastructure," since money would shunt from the latter to fund charter schools. So, how can Williamson possibly be one of the most envied district if they do not even wave choice at their parents?
I have argued for some time that, as a public school parent, I am more likely to abandon Nashville schools over the charter issue. I base my view exactly on Mr. Looney's premise: charter schools sap what little money bona fide public schools have. Charter schools weaken already reeling Metro public schools. Hizzoner et al. give parents a false sense of choice because the mediocrity is spread around while wealthy education corporations (and some charter administrators) enrich themselves on the pedagogic blight. Choice is like an opiate that lulls parents into believing they have power in a school district that does not share power with those who do not first have the influence (like that of the Nashville Chamber of Commerce).
I guess sometimes, when the red flags of peon parents in poorer districts are ignored, it takes an affluent (and predominantly white?) school district leader to smack down the bouncing, flawed logic of our own educational overlords. Since few people listen to me, I hope others notice the hot mess of Mr. Looney's logic (and take note that infrastructure seems to take precedence over choice in one of the most Republican-leaning counties in the country). It makes more sense than the bunk we are spoon-fed here.