Saturday, December 1, 2012

Beware charter school initiatives that are a Trojan Horse for dismantling public education

By Barbara J. Miner
Many urban educators have long warned that charter schools, along with vouchers, are being used to dismantle public education.
But here's a warning from the superintendent of one of the wealthiest school districts in the country (and Mitt Romney's home town).
"I’ve never considered myself a conspiracy theorist—until now," writes the superintendent of Bloomfield Hills Schools in Michigan. "This package of bills is the latest in a yearlong barrage of ideologically-driven bills designed to weaken and defund locally-controlled public education."

Check out the letter, posted on the district's website with the title: "An urgent call to action from Superintendent Rob Glass."
Unfortunately, too many Wisconsin politicians (Democrats included) are also promoting semi-private charters — schools that are public in name but run as private institutions.
The charter school movement is rife with contradictions, and there are many types of charter schools. Some remain faithful to the goals and ideals of the movement's founder — using charters to improve public education and to foster innovation and strengthen community control. 

But there is no doubt that privatizers have seized control of the charter school movement.
As Superintendent Glass's letter makes clear, not all reforms are true reforms: a disturbing number are a Trojan Horse for privatization and limiting public control of public education.
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This blog is cross-posted at The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Purple Wisconsin project.

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