Let Non-Profit Charters Thrive (and, no, it's not a corporate conspiracy)

On Wednesday I had a column in NJ Spotlight on the escalating rhetoric among anti-charter activists who make specious allegations that charter school operators and supporters are driven by corporate greed. It's a canard, of course, but it must be effective or it wouldn't have such legs.

Coincidentally, Derrell Bradford, formerly of B4K and an eloquent champion for school choice, had a blog post the same day (oh no! it's a conspiracy!) at his new gig at NYCAN. Read it in its entirety, back here's a sample:
During my career working in school reform I’ve been called a lot of things, but in recent years, two new buzzwords have risen to prominence in the anti-reform lexicon. Thanks to a disciplined media campaign by their opponents, reformers are now co-conspirators in a “corporate reform” and “privatization” revolution. It’s like one night I went to bed as a fighter for educational justice, and the next morning I woke up a tool of the Man turning our kids and schools into profit centers for the country’s oligarchs. Boy, did that happen quickly...

For those on the fence, I offer this: Education reform is not the corporate scheme; the current system is. America’s K-12 education system pushes the best teaching and schooling to the people who both need it the least and already have the most (a consequence of distributing school funding and great teaching through the housing market). It routinely segregates opportunity for kids based on their race and their income. And it distributes shrinking opportunity in the real world to a shrinking universe of children who are, more often than not, affluent and overwhelmingly whit
Also see today's NJ Spotlight for a column by Neerav Kingsland called "Let Great Schools Thrive, Including Non-Profit Charter Schools":
There is one question that can cut through the hyperbole of most education reform debates.

If a school provides a well-rounded, academically rigorous education that prepares children to live meaningful, successful lives -- should this school be allowed to expand to serve more students?

The answer should be: “Yes.”

Yet for too many school systems, including some in New Jersey, the answer is: “No.”

Labels: , ,