US: A Turning Point for the Charter School Movement

Published on truthout, by Molly Knefel, Aug 30, 2016;

A political battle is being waged over charter schools in Massachusetts right now, and it’s a microcosm of the state of the charter debate across the country. In the lead-up to a November ballot measure in which voters will decide whether or not to lift the state’s cap on charter schools, known as Question 2, Democrats passed a resolution this month opposing charter school expansion.
The resolution states that the pro-charter campaign is funded and governed by hidden money provided by Wall Street executives and hedge fund managers.” In response, the pro-charter group Democrats for Education Reform drafted a letter to the coalition behind the resolution, called the “No on 2″ campaign, claiming that they misrepresented Democrats’ attitude towards charters. “There is great Democratic support for public charter schools,” wrote Liam Kerr, Massachusetts State Director of Democrats for Education Reform … //

… Meanwhile, in Massachusetts, those fighting to expand charters are relying heavily on the language of equality. “I find it disappointing that the Democratic Party, which I feel is full of a lot of people who believe in equal opportunity and giving everybody a chance, would choose to be against something that is so important — especially to working-class families in underperforming school districts,” said Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker after the Democrats passed their resolution against lifting the cap. But critics of charters now have more leverage than ever to puncture that narrative.

It’s been almost 30 years since Albert Shanker, president of the American Federation of Teachers, introduced the idea of charter schools as a way to better serve the highest need students. He envisioned a unionized workforce, empowered teachers and diverse student bodies. The best examples of charters today may adhere to Shanker’s vision, but most don’t — only around 12 percent are unionized, a quarter of teachers leave their schools each year (twice the rate of public school teachers) and they’re more likely to be “intensely segregated” than public schools.

Because the problem of educational inequity remains so entrenched, some families still seek out charters as the best option for their children. But the structural solution to inequality will never be a separate-but-sometimes-equal system.

(full text, related stories, hyper-links).

(Molly Knefel is a writer, comic and co-host of Radio Dispatch, a thrice-weekly internet radio show. She also teaches drama after school).

Related Links:

on en.wikipedia:

  • Charter school is a … (many countries) … term for a school that receives government funding but operates independently of the established public school system in which it is located.[1][2][3] Charter schools are an example of alternative education …; /[See also [edit]: Bradley Foundation, Charter School Growth Fund, DreamBox (company), Broad Foundation, Koch Family Foundations, Walton Foundation];
  • Category:Education by country;
  • Alternative education; /See also; /External Links;
  • Charter schools in the United States offer primary or secondary education without charge to pupils who take state-mandated exams.[2][3] These charter schools are subject to fewer rules, regulations, and statutes than traditional state schools, but receive less public funding than public schools, typically a fixed amount per pupil. There are both non-profit and for-profit charter schools, and only non-profit charters can receive donations from private sources …; /See also; /External Links;

Other Links:

Booked: The Origins of the Carceral State, on Dissent Magazine, by Timothy Shenk, Aug 30, 2016;

On the Caging of Bresha Meadows – What Does Justice Look Like? on truthout, by Kelly Hayes, Aug 29, 2016: … Bresha Meadows is a child accused of killing her abusive father with his own gun, while he lay sleeping …;

The Olympics May Be Over, But the Anger, Disillusionment Among Brazilians Remains High – Glenn Greenwald, on Democracy Now, Aug 29, 2016;

Brazilians are Fed Up with U.S. Olympian Ryan Lochte and Privileged First-World Tourists – Dave Zirin, on Democracy Now, Aug 19, 2016;

10 Potential Alternatives To The Conventional Capitalist System, on List Verse, June 28, 2015 ;

Conférence: PLACEBO & NEUROSCIENCE – Dr Joe Dispenza, 114.51 min, mise en ligne par La Télé de Lilou Macé, le 9 février 2016 … a regarder en famille …;

Sternstunde Philosophie mit Richard David Precht, 58.51 min, von Kosake van Ze im Januar 2016 … Thema: Denken als Experiment;

… and this:

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