Charter opponents like to label education leaders who are empowering families' right to choose as "privatizers." In their dictionary, public means "union-controlled" and any variation is the enemy.
It doesn't matter how well the kids are doing at your school. It doesn't matter how many parents are in line to get their kids into charter schools. For charter opponents, you're either with us or you're against us. It's strictly either/or.
But leaders like [D.C.'s Kaya] Henderson, [Philadelphia's William] Hite, [Newark's Chris] Cerf, [Denver's Tom] Boasberg and dozens more in districts across the country where charters are taking root, are more open-minded. They are pushing for both strong district-run schools and high-quality charters. Believing in the latter in no way diminishes their commitment to the former. They should be heralded for the "both/and" approach, not vilified.
And if unions aren't swayed on the grounds that "both/and" is good public policy, they should at least listen to parents. This year, nearly three million students are attending nearly 7000 public charter schools in 43 states and Washington D.C. Demand for these schools is growing, with an estimated one million kids on waiting lists for the coveted seats.
Labels: Cerf, charter schools, school choice